DECC presents contingency FiT rate as appeal result speculation grows

Today the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has presented draft licence modifications to parliament to set the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) rate at 21p per kilowatt hour from April 2012 for installations in place after March 3rd. The rate that installations will receive until then is still undecided as the result of the DECC’s appeal is yet to be released, but it will be 21p at the lowest. The result of the appeal is likely to be released by February 9th at the latest, to give enough time before April for any legislative changes to come into force. Greg Barker, Energy and Climate Change Minister, said: “I know this is a difficult time for the sector and I want to do as much as I can to end the current uncertainty created by the legal challenge. “We must reduce the level of FITs for solar panels as quickly as possible, to protect consumer bills and to avoid bust in the whole Feed-in Tariff budget. We’re appealing against the court ruling that’s challenged our proposal for a December reference date. This remains our aim, and we are waiting for the judgement of the Court of Appeal. But this is too important for us to sit and do nothing while we wait. Today we’re putting in place a contingency that will bring a 21p rate into effect from April for installations from 3 March. “However, we are still pressing ahead with our appeal and if successful, we retain the option of introducing a December reference date. In the circumstances we believe this gives the industry as much certainty as is possible. And it puts us in a better position to protect the budget for everyone involved.” The decision to put forward the new proposal brings speculation that the DECC feels it will lose its appeal and the 43.3p rate will be reinstated for installations up until March 3rd. This speculation is further fuelled by the table on the DECC website (http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/wmsch_fits/wmsch_fits.aspx) which has columns titled “Current generation tariff” and “New generation tariff from 1 April 2012”. Under the current tariff column the rates are given as 43.3p for installs under 4kW, the rate received by installations registered before December 12th 2011. This may just be worded incorrectly for the situation, though perhaps this speculation will put further pressure on the Court of Appeal and the DECC to release a result either way. If the 43.3p FiT rate is reinstated we’re expecting a surge in enquiries again just like we did before December 12th. Want to be first on our books? Visit acgoldsolar.co.uk to find out more and enquire online. Alternatively contact us at info@acgoldenergy.co.uk or call our freephone number 08000 355 779.

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