Saturday 31 December 2011

Has DECC published their response before 4th Jan?

With reference to the recent Judicial Review, where DECC were found to be unlawful by the High Court to cut the FiT before the end of their own consultation, a few days ago the following document was uploaded to DECC's website:

At the top of the list is document:

Abstract:First Progress Report on the Promotion and Use of Energy from Renewable Sources for the United Kingdom Article 22 of the Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/E... Date of publication: 29/12/2011

If you refer to page 22, you'll see the intention is to keep the FiT running as-is until start of April 2012.

Obviously, we will need to await an official announcement to confirm this, as it may be simply another DECC office blunder (as before), but we should hear definite news on 4th January.

Saturday 24 December 2011

The court case is won but all still in the air!

As you will probably have heard, the court case brought against the Government for generally not planning the FiT reduction in a healthy manner. It seems they had their strings tugged by the power companies, and had run off a half cocked plan to drop the FiT payments for solar PV without getting the legal side checked out.

Three organisations with the fortitude to fight this plan by DECC to trash planned installations and put thousands out of work, which would have cost the Government far far more then the alleged 'budget' they have been working to, has been won over by the High Court and DECC, etc have been proved to have not carried out this process correctly.

For the current situation on 24th December, and probably all over Christmas period, see the release from the REA a couple of days ago.....

Judicial Review - Friends of Earth/HomeSun/Solarcentury win case against government on solar

The implications of the JR decision mean that the pre 12th December tariffs cannot be changed until after the full parliamentary process – i.e. an 8 week consultation, followed by a review of the responses and then a 40 day period before the legislation takes effect. This is unless the Government wins an appeal.

Government was not given leave to appeal, but if it wants to make a case it must put that forward by 4th January 2012.

Effectively the situation for systems going in now is one of two things.

· If Government is able to appeal, and then wins, we go back to the current situation. I.e. there is a consultation ongoing, and a domestic system can expect to earn 21p (or whatever government concludes after the consultation) from 1st April.

· If government is not able to appeal, or if it loses on appeal, then the 43p tariff remains in place until the Parliamentary process has concluded (expected to be 1st April 2012).

REA’s position

The REA’s position is that we are deeply concerned about the implications of this JR decision. Securing the future of the UK solar industry and the wider Feed In Tariff are our top priorities. It is essential to secure more budget and for there to be some stability in the policy.

The predominant feedback from members expressed so far is that they want look forward, and to carry on their businesses focused on the new proposed tariff levels, and are concerned about the budgetary implications of a return to 43p, albeit they may be pleased that DECC has been sent a message that there must be stability for investors and careful management of changes to support mechanisms.

Additional news is the publication of two select committee reports which criticise Government’s handling of the tariff changes. Listen again to Tim Yeo on Radio 4.

Other examples of coverage in the media can be found on Andy Atkins, Howard Johns quoted Gaynor Hartnell quoted Tim Yeo, Joan Walley, Andy Atkins.

Wednesday 21 December 2011

The Good Guys win the High Court Battle??

As you may have heard today through the press, etc, two solar installation company's and Friends of the Earth have been taking the Government to court due to alleged illegally fixing a date for the Feed in Tariff to be slashed even before the official consultation was complete.
Today, the High Court upheld the Solar industry's case. The Government (not for the first time), have been proved to be trying to imitate a Dictatorship by simply trampling over the Law, thinking they were above all of that nonsense!!.. Thankfully it has been proved they are not.

We are all right at this moment in a Christmas limbo awaiting the outcome of this
case.. The Government will lodge an appeal in January (using our money again!), so will take until February to see the outcome ... Its weird to think that the Government are able to use our own money to defend not their own political standpoint, but the bank balances of their chums, i.e. the power company's.. The whole thing does stink of some 'back scratching' scandal. I suspect it will all come out in 5 years or so when another Government is in power, and we are stuck with EDF Nuclear!

However.. There is an indication from insiders that our loving Government will simply slash the tariff to nothing after February/ April (whenever they can get away with), if the ruling is upheld to keep up their end of the bargain with their chums..

Remember the 'budget' that Uncle Greg Barker keeps mentioning is not taxpayers money, but Power Company Profit!

Friday 16 December 2011

More FiT changes in April 2012?

As the big day signifying the end of FiT alleged consultation draws near, little hints from Uncle Greg Barker seem to make us think he is looking to try and drop the 21p FiT rate yet again from April 1st.

Coupled with the proposed excessive energy saving measures most buildings will have to endure simply to be able to receive a barely adequate FiT rate, which is incidentally timed to drop in at the end of March, will most definately mean yet another 'last minute rush' of PV installations.

As already, PV buy-in costs have been dropping, meaning we are able already to install a 4kWp system for just £9,250. For a South facing roof, this will give people a 10% return, though not so good for either East or West! PV is still proving to be a great investment, and one of the good things that the lower 21p rate will lose the market sector of dodgy charlatans overcharging for poorly designed installations.

Good luck to the re-hearing of the case brought by Solar Century, Homesun and Friends of the Earth agains the Government to quash the FiT rate and rapidity of dropping us into a financially desperate situation. see

Thursday 8 December 2011

Dont try and cheat the MCS system!

Couple of things have popped up today..

1) Yesterday an 'update' email was sent out by Gemserve, with the following paragraph:
Registering jobs prior to commissioning: Please be aware that if a job is not fully installed and commissioned, it is a breach of MCS Standards to create a certificate, and any installation company doing so could lose their certification. Additionally, a customer using such a certificate to apply for FITS could be convicted of fraud.

2) Today we hear that one of the associated Government agencies have realised, through Gemserve, that there have been some PV installation companies uploading far more jobs than they normally would, indicating they are stocking up a bank of work after the cutoff date. Apparently there are going to be site visits, checks and court action to enforce the above paragraph in (1)..

Luckily, we are completing our last job tomorrow already knowing that bucking the system is just too risky for any company and our customers. This proves that fact.. Look out you naughty people!

Possible further delay to the RHI.. ?

An exerpt from an email release by the REA today...

Following the delay to phase 1, DECC are re-evaluating the timing for phase 2. The previous position was that there would be a consultation by the end of 2011, with implementation October 2012 alongside the Green Deal. We do not now expect a consultation before Christmas. Our view is that, if that doesn’t rule out October 2012 implementation, it certainly makes it less likely. It should be noted that DECC pre-notified the European Commission of their outline plans for the RHI in December 2010 and did not get a final response until September 2011.

DECC plan to make an announcement on their timeline early in the New Year. They are determined that this should be deliverable and credible. They also intend to publish details of various milestones along the way, so it will be easier to monitor progress.

.... So lets hope there are no more stumbling blocks along the way!