Act now to secure the maximum return on investment before the tariff is reduced.
The government Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) is a scheme that is paid by energy suppliers for every unit of electricity generated from solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. This includes both units generated for on site use and any additional units that are exported to the national grid. Once you have signed up to the FIT scheme the amount paid is guaranteed for 25 years for solar PV, is linked to the Retail Price Index and is tax-free (compared to only 20 years for other technologies in the scheme).
Currently the generation tariff is set to 43.2p/kWh for retrofit solar PV systems <4kW but this will remain only until April 2012. Isoenergy strongly believes that such a good rate per kW is unsustainable at current rates of PV adoption. In short, panels need to be installed, tested and commissioned before April next year to guarantee the current rates. After April the government will have reviewed the FITs and they are likely to drop significantly each year.
The exporting tariff is presently set at 3.1p/kWh and this is unlikely to change, but the generation tariff is worth significantly more and therefore the drop will have a large impact.
Both the ‘Department of Energy and Climate Change’ and ‘The Energy Saving Trust’ say that the government review will “Be completed by the end of the 2011, with tariffs remaining unchanged until April 2012 (unless the review reveals a need for greater urgency)”.
The message from our solar PV engineer Patrick is “install now rather than later in order to see the greatest return on your investment and to take full advantage of the FIT scheme.” Finally, only PV systems installed by MCS accredited installers such as isoenergy will be eligible for FIT payments.