DECC reveals the truth behind FiT confusion | Act On Solar Power Portal
28th November 2010
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DECC reveals the truth behind FiT confusion

By installing solar panels on your home you receive FiT payments for 25 years

As with all new technologies, myths and misconceptions appear during the teething stages, yet these are usually dispersed within the first couple of months. However, in the case of renewable energy, people are a little harder to convince.

Since the introduction of the UK’s feed-in tariff in April, sites such as the Solar Power Portal have fought tooth and nail to highlight the benefits of solar energy, strongly backing the government’s generous feed-in tariff (FiT) scheme which pays above and beyond the price for conventional electricity. However, the mainstream rags seem to find it more difficult to praise this clean technology. After one paper published yet another misguided report, we spoke with the DECC to bring you the truth behind it all.

Mainstream publication, the Telegraph has today (September 28) published an article entitled, “Household solar power: a shock in the small print,” which claims to unveil a hidden catch when it comes to generating your own green electricity. Personal Finance Editor, Ian Cowie, writes that, “Energy companies are encouraging homeowners to spend thousands of pounds fitting panels by offering to pay substantially above market rates for the electricity produced. Contracts promise ‘feed-in tariffs’ over 25 years with inflation-proofing. But a sharp-eyed reader from Suffolk points out that a clause in the small print allows tariffs to be changed at any time in the future.”

The culprit here, Michael Crisp, 77, a former aeronautical engineer, wrote into theTelegraph with this ‘revelation.’ “This warrants a serious warning to potential investors in solar panels. The electricity companies have terms and conditions which run to 16 pages of fine print in the case of EDF, my supplier, and these include;

“Clause 4.6. which states that the generator – that’s the householder – acknowledges and agrees that the generation tariff and export tariff as set out in the term sheet shall be subject to variation, as determined by the authority from time to time and pursuant to the operation of the scheme.

“The various panel installers are freely stating that the feed in tariff is good for 41.3 pence per generated unit for 25 years with retail prices index-linking. It does seem like money for old rope – but is it, really, when the terms can be changed at someone’s whim?”

This has of course been grossly misconstrued.

While we admit that the policy out there is slightly confusing (hence the Solar Power Portal’s existence), we would also like to think that people do a little research before buying into something and then complaining about it. Here are the facts (as outlined by those who put the policy in place):


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