Friday 17 August 2012

Seaton Hospital press release

Part of the recent press release from N Devon NHS....

SEATON Community Hospital has taken a major step towards curbing its environmental impact – thanks to the League of Friends.

The hospital now has solar PV panels on its roof after the charity agreed to fund the full installation costs.

It is the first energy scheme ever financed by a League of Friends of any of the 18 hospitals managed by the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust.

The array will significantly reduce the site’s electrical consumption and carbon footprint, while any incentive payments from the government will be split 50-50 between the Trust and the League.

Bob Lowe, deputy estates manager, has led the project for the Trust.

He said: “This is an innovative investment that has been totally instigated and driven by the League of Friends.

“This is the first time in all my years of involvement with support charities that such an offer has been made to the Trust.

“To invest in an area that benefits the hospital not only in reduced costs but the environmental impact of the site on the local community is extremely forward-thinking.

“They have seen the bigger picture and everyone is a winner as the installation is expected to generate between 50 and 200kW of energy daily, all of which will be used on the hospital site.”

Local company Rudge Renewables completed the installation by the end of July, ahead of a deadline that ensured the best tariff from the government.

The hospital’s clear southern aspect in Scalwell Lane made it a prime candidate for a solar PV array, and the 80 individual panels will produce 20kW of electrical energy.

It is anticipated that 17,700 kWh (units) of electrical power will be generated each year, while the site’s energy footprint will be cut by 2.5 tonnes of carbon.

There will also be financial benefits, with a projected £1,770 coming off the annual energy bill and repayments of £2,600 each year through the government feed-in tariff.

Mr Lowe said the cost of the scheme was expected to be recouped in seven to 10 years.

He said: “With little or no maintenance, the installation will just enhance the site’s goal of providing local healthcare services in an environmentally-friendly manner.”

Dr Joe Pitt, chairman of the League of Friends, said: “When we came up with the idea of funding solar power for the hospital we were delighted with the very positive response from the Trust.

“As a League we always want to help improve patient services at Seaton hospital and this sort of scheme should release funds currently spent on energy bills to instead go to direct patient care.

“We are also aware of our wider responsibility to help reduce the carbon footprint of the hospital.

“We feel it is a model of how the voluntary sector can help the NHS to deliver on those aims, and we hope this model can be copied elsewhere.”

Tuesday 31 July 2012

Solar Trade Association says it like it is

Solar PV still attractive tomorrow!
STA explains value of solar investment to domestic consumers

New calculations show that investing in solar will continue to be attractive for domestic properties despite the reductions in the Feed in Tariff (FiT) tomorrow when the FIT for domestic systems will reduce to 16p and the FIT lifetime will reduce to 20 years. However, the price paid for power exported back onto the grid will increase to 4.5p tomorrow, better reflecting the true market value of locally generated power.

A returns ‘Calculator’ devised by the Solar Trade Association (STA) [1][2] for its members, based on credible data, clearly shows the good returns that domestic customers can expect.

Returns for investors in solar power over recent months have been exceptionally attractive [3] and the rate of solar installations is again on a steady upward trend, after a drop-off in April. The new calculations mean the STA and its members are confident that investment in solar will still be attractive when the Tariffs reduce tomorrow (1st August).

The STA Calculator illustrates returns with the following example: for a family installing a large 4kW system in August costing £8,000, using 50% of their power in the home and exporting 50%, the STA Calculator shows the system will have paid for itself within 10 years, with returns of 9.2% over the 20 year life of the Feed-in Tariff [4]. The solar power system itself is likely to last around 40 years providing many years more of household savings!

Householders are advised (for example by REAL) to always get 3 quotes for solar installations as solar prices continue to come down and it may be possible to better the example cited. The REAL Assurance website provides top ten tips for consumers thinking of generating their own energy [5]

STA CEO Paul Barwell said;
"Our figures show that solar is a no-brainer investment. Compared to the returns you can get these days in banks and many other investments, solar provides a very solid and attractive return. That is particularly the case if you consider energy bills are rising faster than anyone expected.

“Investors in solar are also helping us to drive an exciting energy revolution, putting power in the hands of everyday people, while saving the planet."

The STA Calculator is based on the Government's own projected increases in electricity prices and on established national average yields from solar power. In practice electricity prices are rising faster than Government is projecting and power yields from solar in some parts of the country are higher. Consumers who use more than 50% of the power their solar generates in the home can expect higher returns, while returns will be lower for consumers who use less.

Returns are likely to be even better because electricity bills are rising faster than Government figures suggest:

Because solar partly replaces the import of electricity from the grid, this is an important part of the returns calculation [3]. In reality electricity prices are rising faster than the Government data used in STA's model predicts. This means households could save even more money by switching to solar. Analysis of Government statistics by the REA shows that the average annual increase in electricity bills for the period 2005 to 2011 was 6.6% above inflation. While the STA Calculator is based on conservative assumptions, using this real-world rate of increase in electricity prices means returns on the example above of a 4kW system for a family home installed in August, rise from 9.2% to 11.4%, with payback after 9 years.

Paul Barwell said:
“Nobody knows what electricity prices will be in future but we do know they have gone up substantially over the past few years. This trend may well continue as the UK becomes more reliant on importing its energy in an increasingly competitive world.

“Solar gives people the opportunity to take control of their electricity bills and help us move away from damaging fossil-fuel dependence. We believe the smart money is on solar.”

The industry is delighted that the vital role of solar has now been recognised by Government - DECC will be revising their Renewables Roadmap to properly reflect the large contribution expected by solar power in 2020.

Sunday 22 July 2012

10kw turbines add up to the best option

We have installed our first Bergey 10kW wind turbine this week. Though having installed a number of other turbine types, we are really impressed with the engineering used throughout the Bergey design ethos. As reported recently, the Excel 10kw turbine has recently withstood an American tornado and come out the other side unscathed. Unlike a number of fragile and high maintenance wind turbines being sold in the UK that either need to be shut down in high wind conditions to avoid damage, or worse simply fall to bits in extreme winds, the Bergey Excel 10kW just keeps going!
The Bergey 10kW will only need maintaining every 3 years (not 3 months, as some expensive types), and will only cost around £46,000 fully installed. 
If you think you may have missed the boat for that higher 28p Feed in Tariff, the Government have announced last Friday 20th July that the new FiT will be introduced in December, not October as originally announced.. Just in time to get that planning through!

Call us on 01297 23048 for more information..

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Photo Competition Winner

As most of our existing customers will be aware, we ran a photo competition, asking for people to take the best photo's they can of their systems, as we were looking for some outstanding images for our new website.
We had a massive response from loads of our customers, and all the images were of a high standard, some were outstanding!
The initial idea of having a lead prize and a couple of runner up prizes was soon replaced with more M&S tokens as the level of quality was quite high.

The winning photo, which will appear on the main page of our website fitted the remit nicely of a punchy image to be used on our website. Pictured is Mr Mitchell, the winner, with a copy of the winning photo and his new (still boxed) iPad which should keep him busy for hours!

Friday 15 June 2012

Another RNLI PV installation completed

This week we have helped the RNLI bring down their carbon footprint at their Saltash Divisional Base by installing a 20kWp PV system for electricity and a Solar Thermal to provide all their hot water needs.

Using the excellent Speed Rail system with Suntech modules, we have provided the customer with an excellent system with a payback rate of return of 14%, without having to use 'budget' low efficiency modules.

Saturday 26 May 2012

New lower cost Immersion Switch!

Our latest Immersion Relay units are now even lower in cost to £160 inc VAT and post!
After a recent bulk buy in components, we are able to price these popular power saving devices at an all time low price.
These low cost units are the answer to a using as much of your generated PV power as possible. Aimed at the household who have gas or oil water heating and out of the house all day. You've probably realised most of that PV generated power simply goes out on the grid with no benefit to yourself at all..
We know of some people who have tried putting timer units on their immersion heaters to switch on around late morning for a few hours. However, a moments thought comes to the realisation that on cloudy or low light days you'd be buying in far more power than you'd be generating.
Our Immersion Relay is the answer, it only switches on the immersion when your PV is generating enough power to run it... And to ensure its suited to most domestic installations, we provide a custom built  replacement 1kw immersion heater to take the place of your existing 3kw unit, which means your PV will be heating even more water!
Click HERE to get all the information.

Thursday 17 May 2012

Off grid Pellet Boiler

Had a great first day at Devon County Show.
Loads of people interested in Wood pellet boilers to replace their clunky and expensive to run Oil heating. Plus even more interest in our Wind Turbines, both 2.5 and 10kw.

Rain stayed off for most of the day, but we did suffer a little shower later on. Though our lovely and toasty warm demonstration pellet boiler brought people in to dry off and warm up!

Still 2 days to go.. Come and see us on stand 179, avenue C, near the sheep section.

Picture shows the boiler in action just after setting up. The ignition and blowers are run on 12v battery and an inverter, showing that these really low power units are ideal for off grid applications as well as standard domestic use. A 10kg bag of pellets at £2 will last all day ticking over. We are going to install one in the office ready for winter.

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Devon County Show

Its that time of year again!.. We are again taking a space at Devon County Show.
This year though, as well as having a suggestion of Solar PV on display, we are showing off our recent Biomass direction with a live and living wood pellet heater, so you can see the advantages of getting rid of that old Oil or LPG boiler and go for half price fuel, plus you'll get a Government Premium Payment.

Also on show will be a Skystream 3.7 turbine in the tent along with our brilliant invention that seems to be stirring a few people with a realisation that they can make even more money from their PV and Wind systems.. The Immersion Diversion Relay!.. We will have these for sale off the stand for ONLY £150, a massive Devon County Show sale price, down from the normal £190.

Come and see us on Stand 179, Avenue C.. Near the Sheep!

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Grand Opening of Bicton Earth

Now this is weird!. We have been invited to, and have accepted, an invitation to attend the official opening of Bicton Earth training centre, a local training school for renewables near Budleigh Salterton and part of Bicton Agricultural College.

The weird part is that when the development of the centre was announced 18 months ago, we offered to support the project and donate equipment, PV panels, etc as we felt a project like this was just what the area needs... I still do!.. However, after an initial meeting and a small flurry of emails indicating our intent, etc. All contact broke off. We naturally assumed there were delays, etc. As we now see, the centre is completely built (and looks lovely), but they actually PAID a company to install the equipment, which will have left less in the budget for all the teaching stuff they could have bought.

Although Graham, who is running the show now & was not around at that point,  is really pulling it all together and is ready to take on a bunch of C&G courses, (plus he's a really nice bloke), I am still feeling a little bad taste in my mouth over what went before him. I'd like to think our offer of FREE stuff was not snubbed, but I was looking at some of the installed gear that would have cost them thousands, and wonder if there was a level of incompetency or something else going on a year or so ago!

If your there on Friday, see you then, we'll be there, looking onwards and upwards. Graham has plans for the Earth Centre, and they are all good.. And despite the other stuff, I want to help him along, there is now some vision running the place now.

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Film Sponsorship Deal for 2012

We have been inspired to support a group of local film makers starting filming their first major film right here in the East Devon area. See the press release below..

A trio of local lads have formed a film production company ‘Primley Road Productions’ after much acclaim for their pilot episode of ‘Clive’ last year. Their first feature film, - The Catch – starts shooting in East Devon and other locations in July this year, and whilst they have been supported with location and studio equipment by MWS Media, a film production company in the Thames Valley, much needed funding is required for hiring locations and more. Rudge Renewables have helped with some sponsorship, but more is needed to bring this home grown comedy to the UK’s film screens.
‘The Catch’ is a character driven, coming-of-age comedy, with a truly original story. Supported by the acclaimed production company, MWS, who are eager to nurture Britain’s next generation of film makers, Rudge Renewables have also been keen to invest in the future of these local talented youngsters who obviously have a planned future in British film writing and production.
Resume of the three, all from East Devon:
Based in Seaton, Oliver Dowling has gone on to graduate with honours from Kingston University in film and creative writing. His passion for comedy was rewarded in 2010 when he won the award for 'Best original Joke' on BBC Radio. He co-wrote and starred in television series pilot 'Clive', and has been a guest speaker several times at the London Comedy Writers Group, based in the heart of London's west end.
Joel Emery graduated from Middlesex University with a first, and has since worked on various projects. His short-film 'Exposures' was shortlisted on several national film festivals. He collaborated on 'Clive', co writing with Oliver Dowling and directing the pilot. Joel currently works for the BBC, as head of graphic design and moving images on such shows as Match of the Day and Football Focus. 
Adam Jarrell is an actor/singer who has performed all over the world, ranging from cruise-ships to international tours. His debut feature film 'Nuryan', in which he played the lead, won the prestigious 'Best Film' and the London Independent film festival. Adam also played one of the lead characters in the award-winning production of Stephen Sondheim's 'Assassins' at the Union Theatre, Waterloo in 2010. He is currently on tour with 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' in which he is receiving rave reviews for his portrayal of 'Pharaoh'. 

Friday 27 April 2012

Using your excess generated power

Our clever Immersion Heater switching device has proved to be a runaway success since going into full production in January.
To give you an overview, our unit is simply installed by your consumer unit (fuse box), where both your Solar PV (or wind system) is connected along with your immersion heater. When your PV/Wind system generates more than 1kW (or other setting of choice), it will switch on your immersion heater to heat water instead of exporting power out onto the grid.
For more information on our Immersion Heater Relay system, go to

Ideal for premises with Gas or Oil heating and a hot water tank with a backup immersion heater fitted.

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Solar PV installation for Dorset artist

Living in a conservation area can be a problem for people with plans to have renewable energy plans for their house and family.
Such was the case for landscape and portrait artist Harriet Barber, who lives near the beautiful Lulworth Cove in Dorset, UK.
She and partner Dan wanted to offset their carbon footprint and escalating power bills and give them better options for their children rather than spend most of their income on paying power bills.
We took on the planning permission application paperwork for Harriet, which for people unfamiliar with the processes can be very onerous. This was all included in the cost, as we feel that any of our customers needing assistance in obtaining planning should be helped every step of the way.
Harriet simply gave us the go-ahead for the work, and we did the rest. Her, the family and her neighbours are extremely pleased with how its all worked out, together with the local planning office, whom like most we encounter are very helpful.

Saturday 7 April 2012

Speaking at Ecobuild

I had the privilege of being invited to give a presentation at EcoBuild at the Excel, London, to Self Builders on the outlines of generating your own power at home.
As it turned out, though I thought I was going to be right on time, it ran over and I sadly needed to miss out some stuff, so apologies to anyone who attended the packed room and needed more information. You can email me at for all the notes.
A kind person in the audience took a phone photo and posted to Twitter.. Thanks, I've included it here.

Monday 2 April 2012

RNLI Press release

It was great to see the RNLI had sent out a press release to show off the new Solar PV system we had installed at the Sea Survival Centre back in November last year.
As the press release indicates, we had designed it to offset the vast amount of electricity the building uses to  treat the water, run the wave machine, plus all the systems that a normal building of this size will not have.
Its really good to know the RNLI is moving to being as low carbon as possible to minimise their carbon footprint, something many companies are doing now without regard to profit. The systems simply need to be self financing without the past greed of big investors.

For the whole story from the RNLI CLICK HERE

Wednesday 28 March 2012

Government delay the RHI for another year!

Your now going to be waiting even longer for the long awaited Renewable Heat Incentive. Despite all the Government hype about helping people to heat their homes using renewables rather than expensive oil and LPG, they have decided to push the release date from late summer this year to late summer 2013.

In some element of compensation, the Renewable Heat Premium Payments (RHPP), scheme has been extended in a phase 2 starting on April 2nd.
The original RHPP, which is just about to expire, has not been that successful, probably owing to both complexity and misleading terms used in application. For example, the 'Voucher' was not actually a voucher at all, and the email system failed to send out the information or vouchers to applicants. Lets hope this time they have a working system finalised!

For the full release from DECC, click HERE

Friday 23 March 2012

Governments Supreme Court Appeal thrown out!

Exerpt from this afternoons press release from Regen SW..

The long running legal saga over changes to the Feed-in Tariff has come to an end.  The Supreme Court has refused permission for DECC to appeal against the Court of Appeal's decision on plans to reduce the tariff for solar PV installations.

The effect of the decision is that solar projects installed between 12 December and 3 March will get the higher rate (43p/kWh for sub 4kW schemes) in place prior to the government cuts. It has no effect on projects since 3 March as new tariffs came into force at that time.

The decision provides an opportunity to move on from the confusion of the last few months and for the industry to work with DECC to ensure a clear policy framework in which solar pv and microgeneration technologies can develop to their full potential. Regen's recent report on the benefits of microgeneration showed how the Feed-in Tariff has led to investment in renewables, new businesses and jobs and a flowering of community renewable energy schemes in the south west (

Rachel Solomon-Williams, Head of the FiT at DECC, will be speaking at a session for Regen members on the current Feed-in Tariff consultation on 17th April in Exeter. You can find out more at

Tuesday 13 March 2012

We are now an agent for Bergey 10kW wind turbines

We are now able to offer the Bergey 10kW wind turbine as a further option through our wind turbine installation division.
These well established turbines offer a very good annual generation in reasonable wind speed areas, and even better in ideal 6-7m/s locations.
Call us for a competitive quote for either lattice tower or tilt over monopole options. We offer a friendly no obligation survey service.
We always offer our wind turbine customers a full planning service, all you need to do is sit back and we do all the applications for you!

Monday 5 March 2012

Renewable Energy Marketplace

Thursday 8th March is the Renewable Energy Marketplace show at Westpoint, Exeter.

We will have a stand, displaying inverters, PV modules and wind turbine plus being on hand to provide information and advice to anyone interested in having Renewable Power installed on their premises.

Come and see us. It will be good to meet up with our existing and new customers.


Monday 27 February 2012

Just a few days left.

March 3rd is almost here and we have been getting a whole bundle of people calling to see if a system can be squeezed in at the last minute.
Unfortunately, the answer has to be no as we have been fully booked through February since soon after Christmas. Its a shame this ridiculous situation has been thrust on everyone, but at least after March 3rd we will only have the April 1st Deadline to work up to!

For anyone who is not up to speed with the complicated series of events, this last chapter, before we settle down the new Government tariff, means that older houses with limited facility for insulation will effectively be excluded from generating their own power. From April 1st, all premises that have a renewable power system installed will need to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to prove the premises complies to Band D or better.
For around 50% of UK premises, they will comply without modification, but many will need further insulation or energy upgrading.

On the upside though, a further fall in PV module costs for us now means we are able to install a 3.68kWp PV system from only £7995 inc VAT .. Unheard of only 6 months ago!!. This will be good news for many  for whom solar PV will now make sense, even at the lower rate, as ROI is the same, if not better than it was before! Check out 

Wednesday 15 February 2012

OFGEM release new Feed in Tariff table

Seems like OFGEM have let the cat out the bag!
Checking their website for updates, we came across the new table for after April 1st 2012.
You can download it HERE
Additional note from us 25th Feb, we see the OFGEM chart has been changed from the version seen prompting this post. The text at the top of the document has been added.

Amongst other things, for under 4kW systems, it indicates the new rate will be 45.4p for original 43p system owners. Also indicates that systems installed before 3rd March 2012 will be on the higher rate (43p now then to 45.4p).

Of course this may be a little error. But more likely its the official annoucement dropping in under the radar.

Thursday 9 February 2012

DECC announce new rates

DECC have announced the new Feed in Tariff scheme rates today.
As expected, the rate starts at 21p a unit from 3rd March, and after 1st April, will continue at 21p, but in addition premises will need to have an EPC certificate for Band D or better.

After July 2012, the FiT rate will reduce to 16.8p or 13.6p depending on amount of PV installs during March and April. Then in October 2012, another 5% reduction. After this, every 6 months the FiT will be degressed by 10%. It has been estimated by DECC that PV components will reduce in cost by this rate, and the 10% reduction every 6 months will keep up! Along with the rest of the industry, we at Rudge Renewables really do not consider this to be the case!

You can see another window of opportunity has arisen to get a PV system installed and commisioned before 1st April, thus avoiding getting an energy survey, plus possible energy upgrades required.

For more information, the Ministers statement is HERE and The new FiT announcement is HERE

Sunday 5 February 2012

A small state of limbo for solar FiT's

It seems that before Chris Huhne stepped down from the post as Energy Secretary, the decision to actually appeal to the Supreme Court had not been taken.

We assume that the new incumbent to this position, Edward Davey, will probably fulfil this stalling tactic.. But maybe he will not? There are only effectively 3 weeks for DECC to keep stalling to active the objective of stopping  last minute 'gold rush', something the Solar PV industry as a whole is of the same mind over. A last minute rush will force DECC to drop the FiT's to a far lower level than 21p.. Disaster!

See the DECC release HERE where Edward Davey indicates his support for a growth in Green Industry jobs. Lets see....

Monday 30 January 2012

The long wait

Confirmed last week that although the Government have lost their appeal, however The Court of Appeal has not granted DECC permission for a further appeal, but DECC is seeking permission directly from the Supreme Court and has 28 days in which to do so. 
If they are granted leave to appeal and the appeal was successful (and it could take up to one year before the final outcome is known) they could still legislate to apply new tariffs from the 12 December 2011 reference date.   
Hence DECC is warning firms not to promote the higher tariffs in the period from 3rd March.

There does seem  to be a lot of publicity indicating the FiT WILL be back to 43p until 3rd March! This is clearly untrue right at the moment!

If you are considering having a PV system installed, assume you will be paid 21p until officially announced otherwise. A lot of rogue installers are telling people the higher rate to obtain a fast buck, they will have ceased trading by the time you make a claim!

As can be seen from the statement above from the Solar Trade Association, this 43p rate will only return long term if the Government either fail to get leave to appeal to the Supreme Court, or if they do, they lose yet again.

All of that can take time, which is obviously all the Government want to do in reality to avoid a last minute rush.

Our advice is to take advantage of the low price PV systems at 21p without the requirement of having extra insulation installed, as this is probably coming in after March 2012. If you also end up getting 43p a unit instead, think of this is a bonus!

Wednesday 25 January 2012

A potted version of todays events

The Solar Trade Association have just released the statement below, which nicely puts what the situation is right now:....

The Court of Appeal has just confirmed that they have rejected the Government appeal to overturn the High Court ruling. The basis of the Court of Appeal ruling was that under the Energy Act 2008 the Government does not have the power to change the feed-in tariff rates retrospectively, and therefore any change must come after the process of consultation and then Parliamentary Procedure taking 40 days.
This is crucial as it means Government does not have the power to reduce FIT rates retrospectively, or in the middle of a consultation in the future – and was the whole reason behind the court case in the first place.
However, while the Appeal was rejected, the Government were awarded permission, on the grounds that this Judgement was slightly different to that of the High Court. This means they can seek a further Appeal at the Supreme Court – and they have asked the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal.  We will know whether they receive it in the next few days.
What does this mean for tariff rates?
This does not affect the Government's proposal to cut rates for systems installed after 3rd March 2012, because that reduction has followed the correct procedure with regulations being tabled in Parliament already, and the cut coming after the 40 day period required by law.

There is still some uncertainty about rates paid on installations fitted between 12/12/2011 and 3/3/2012 because it is not yet clear whether the Government will allowed its appeal.  However, the minimum tariff that people installing in this period will get is 21p, and if Government’s Appeal is unsuccessful or should they decide to withdraw it, then they would get the 43.3p rate (for a sub 4kW system). 
A comment from your Chairman.
There is speculation that Government will appeal to prolong the uncertainty in the hope it will put some consumers off - but no doubt DECC will be setting that against the political damage done to them by yet another defeat and the image of a Government refusing to accept it has got it wrong and working to make amends.

The process going forward is that Government has formally asked the Appeal Court for permission to take this matter to the Supreme Court.  This however does not necessarily mean Ministers have decided it will do so - at the moment they may simply be keeping the option open.  The Appeal Court judges will make a decision on whether to grant permission in the next few days - if it is granted, the case can go to the Supreme Court.  If permission is refused the Government would still have the fall back option of applying to the Supreme Court itself for permission to appeal.  But this would add a further step in the process - and at each step the chances of success for Ministers recede a little further.

DECC appeal overturned

So much going on today!..
But the short version, at this point, is the Governments appeal was overturned leaving systems installed till 3rd March open to be getting 43p (for up to 4kWp). After that 21p (over the 25 year period)

However, DECC have announced they will try and appeal yet again, even though they have NOT been given leave to appeal.

For the Independants report of todays decision HERE

For more resource, see a copy of the whole decision on the Guardians website HERE
For Chris Huhnes response HERE

If you have not booked a PV installation by now, get it installed ASAP, or forever lose out on the old high rate that will be gone... forever!

Thursday 19 January 2012

And finally, the final version from DECC

This afternoon, DECC have released the statement HERE which clarifies the Feed in Tariff situation not only for now, but after April 1st.
It has been backed up by a Ministerial statement by Greg Barker HERE which puts the decision into context and appears to show a support for the Renewable energy sector.

Both Solar PV industry and customers can breathe a little easier now, as we have definate decisions from the Government, though this may mean a mini rush for system installations during February, that should not affect the Governments budget too much which will leave them able to continue with a reasonable 21p rate after April.
See reproduced table below:

Band (kW Declared Net Capacity (DNC) Current generation tariff (p/kWh)  New generation tariff from 1 April 2012 (p/kWh)
≤4kW (new build) 37.8 21.0
≤4kW (retrofit)  43.3 21.0
>4-10kW 37.8 16.8
>10-50kW 32.9 15.2
>50-100kW 19 12.9
>100-150kW  19 12.9
>150-250kW 15 12.9
>250kW-5MW 8.5 8.5
stand alone 8.5 8.5

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Yet another update on the FiT situation

We have been getting quite a lot of phone calls from people asking about the current situation with the Feed in Tariff while the Judicial Review appeal is in progress.

As can be sen from todays update email from RegenSW (below), if you have a system installed beween now and April you will get 21p a unit (which still works out at 9% return at the new install costs), and you MAY be in with a chance to get 43p a unit if the JR appeal does not come out in favour of the Government. If you leave it till the decision date, in early Feb, to get a system installed, you may be already too late as installers schedules will be filled by booking a system to get in before April's reductions.

News From REGENSW..The latest round of the legal battle over the FiT on Friday has led to yet more delay over the future of scheme with the judges indicating they could take weeks to come to a decision on the government's appeal (our prediction on Friday of a conclusion this week now looks rather too hopeful). So where does that leave us?
Legal battle
The legal argument is over whether the government acted lawfully in proposing a change in FiT rates from a date (12 December) before it had completed the due process needed to make changes to the regulations governing the scheme. In December a court found the government approach to be illegal, the government appealed in January and we now await the conclusions.
If the government wins it will announce the results of its consultation and lay regulations to implement its conclusions. It is almost certain that it will decide to reduce rates for any solar installations since the 12 December to those it proposed in the consultation. DECC has explicitly said the rates won't be reduced below those they have proposed without a further consultation. Other issues such as the introduction of energy efficiency requirements are also likely to be introduced.
If the government appeal is rejected the rates prior to the consultation will be reinstated (or, more accurately, will never have been reduced). The government will then lay regulations to reduce the rates as soon as possible. It seems unlikely it could achieve this reduction much prior to 1 April 2012. There would, inevitably, be a further rush of installations taking advantage of the high rates between the judgement being announced (probably early February and the regulations coming into effect to reduce rates (around 1 April). This is unlikely to be welcomed by anyone in the industry who want a stable long term market.
Longer term
The government has promised a 'phase 2' consultation on the overall shape of the Feed in Tariff across all technologies. This will look, for example, at how rates are adjusted more effectively than the current chaos. If it wins its appeal we can expect that consultation rapidly. If it loses I would expect this to delayed whilst the implications are considered, particularly the impact on the budget.
Whatever the outcome the pressure from Treasury will be for the Feed in Tariff move to 9p per kWh for solar systems of all sizes. This is the level of subsidy offered to offshore wind and the government's Renewable Energy Roadmap made clear any renewable energy subsidy above this level will be carefully scrutinised. Once solar can compete at this level it will be much less vulnerable to short term policy shifts.

Sunday 15 January 2012

DECC's appeal. Still awaiting a decision!

All text below reproduced from Solar Trade Associations press release.

DECC was in the Court of Appeal today to request leave to appeal the High Court’s ruling of 21st December which concluded that its handling of the FITs review was unlawful. The judges failed to reach a decision today so we will not know whether DECC will be granted an appeal until next week at the earliest. DECC has just published the following statement in its website:

“The Court of Appeal has not yet decided whether to give permission for an appeal or made a judgement on the FITs case. The Court will wrap up the decision on permission for an appeal and a possible judgement if an appeal is allowed in the next few weeks. Once the outcome is known we will consider our options and make an announcement on the way forward to provide clarity to consumers and industry."

There is considerable level of uncertainty since the FiT Consultation was launched. The legal case has exacerbated this situation. The outcomes, although still uncertain, may lead to very different tariff scenarios.

· If the Government is not granted leave to appeal, the Consultation would be declared unlawful and the cuts would be nullified. Sources in the Court indicate that this is unlikely.

· If the Government wins on appeal, we are where we were before legal action began, ie the Government will consider all responses to its consultation proposals, including the proposal that a domestic system (up to 4 kWh) can expect to earn 21p from 1st April 2012.

· If the Government does not win on appeal, then the 43p tariff could remain in place for all registered installations until the Parliamentary process has concluded (expected to be 1st April 2012, possibly earlier).

The Association will send a communication to members as soon as any announcement is made. For more details please click here

Saturday 7 January 2012

DECC issues assurances for PV customers

While all the media attention has been focussed on the Judicial Review and the Government's ongoing appeal against the outcome, people (both installers and customers), have been in a quandry as to what the situation is for current installations taking place during this appeal period.

DECC have issued a notice on the REAL website HERE

The main body of this text reads:
  • If the Government wins on appeal, we are where we were before legal action began, ie the Government will consider all responses to its consultation proposals, including the proposal that a domestic system (up to 4 kWh) can expect to earn 21p from 1st April 2012.
  • If the Government does not win on appeal, then the 43p tariff remains in place for all registered installations until the Parliamentary process has concluded (expected to be 1st April 2012, possibly earlier).
This is indeed reassuring news, firstly that DECC obviously want the scheme to continue, and secondly that it shows anyone who is confident the Government will not win the appeal, that there is no better time than now to get a PV installation. At worst, you will still be getting 21p which on an optimum roof will provide a 9% return, and there is a possibility of a short period of reversion to 43p a unit.

Wednesday 4 January 2012

The Ayes are on the right, But DECC swings to the other side

As indicated before Christmas by Uncle Greg Barker, theGovernment have appealed against the High Court decision in December that the Government decision to drop off the FiT before the end of the consultation period had elapsed was illegal.
Anyways, the upshot is for potential owners of PV systems, and people who have installed after 12th December, that the worst that can happen is that your system will attract 21p a generated unit for the next 23 years. (We are already 2 years into the 25 year scheme), which works out on Rudge Renewable install costs a 9-10% ROI. (be aware of those 'double glazing sales' based companies)

Of course the other worst that can happen would be holding off having an installation waiting for the magic (and some (Greg) may say greedy), 43p to reappear, possibly at the end of January. By then, as we are finding, speculators are already booking installations anticipating the very short time period of 43p, which will soon revert to a lower rate.

The industry feels that if the rate is 'forced' back to 43p, the Government will deem this as Busting the Budget and will almost definitely drop the rate thereafter to a very low rate, such as 9p to compensate..

The 'Budget' is not taxpayers money, but simply a little bit of profit off the Power Companies already (as we have seen last year) obscene profits. The FiT costs pence for every bill payer every year, not pounds as indicated by a poorly misinformed Greg Barker.