Supreme Court ruling will benefit homeowners

Local green energy experts BSOLAR have welcomed a Supreme Court decision meaning homeowners will benefit from higher green incentives.

Last year the government slashed the green incentives they offered for solar panel installations through the "Feed in Tariff scheme" (FITs).

The FITs scheme guaranteed homeowners 43p per kWh of energy they generate from solar panels but in December the government cut this to rate to 21p.

Friends of Earth successfully took the government to court over the cuts because there hadn't been an adequate consultation process and this has now been upheld in the Supreme Court.

For homeowners this means that if they have had solar panels installed between 12 December last year and 4 March this year they will receive the higher 43p per kWh rate.

Peter Bladen, managing director of BSOLAR said: "This is a welcome decision which brings to an end months of uncertainty in the industry. It's also great news for homeowners who installed before the 4 March but weren't sure what incentive they would get. It now means that they will receive the high rate of 43p per kWh, which is guaranteed for the next 25 years. As a result homeowners could be earning up £1,600 a year on an average system, and be turning a profit on their systems in less than five years."

Peter does have some concerns of the judgment though. He said: "The judgment means that the government will now have to fork out more money for installations made between December last year and March this year. As a result there will be less in the ‘pot' and it is much more likely that the government with go through with planned cuts for any new solar panel installations."

Peter advises any homeowners considering solar panels to install them now before the government implements the cuts expected to come into effect in summer.

He said: "Now the government is offering a reduced rate 21p KWh for homeowners who install panels. This is still a good rate for homeowners, meaning they would earn an income of around £800 a year and the panels will pay for themselves in less than 10 years. However if the government goes through with their intention to reduce the FIT rate to as low as 13.6p after July, then solar panels will be a less lucrative investment. So simply put install now to benefit from the higher rate."

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