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Government loses solar subsidies court appeal

The Court of Appeal has rejected the Government’s attempt to overturn the High Court ruling that rushing through the solar panel subsidies was “legally flawed”. Charlotte Reid has more.

Three court of appeal judges have unanimously rejected the Government’s appeal against the High Court’s ruling that cuts to solar panel subsidies were illegal.



The Court of Appeal has rejected the Government’s attempt to overturn the High Court ruling that rushing through the solar panel subsidies was “legally flawed”. Charlotte Reid has more.

Three court of appeal judges have unanimously rejected the Government’s appeal against the High Court’s ruling that cuts to solar panel subsidies were illegal.

However, energy and climate change secretary, Chris Huhne, says the Government disagrees with the judgement and are “seeking permission to appeal to the Supreme Court”.

He said he wants to “maximise the number of installations” but in a way that is “possible within the available budget rather than use available money to pay a higher tariff to half the number of installations”.

He added, “Solar PV can have strong and vibrant future in the UK and we want a lasting FITs scheme to support that future and jobs in the industry”.

There has been a great deal of uncertainty in the industry since the Government announced cuts to the feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme last year. Then Friends of the Earth decided to take the Government to court over its decision. This led to the cuts in solar panel subsidies being called “legally flawed” by the High Court. The case then returned to the courts when the Government decided to appeal against the High Court’s decision.

Last week the Government took precautions in case they lost their appeal. So it was decided that the Government will now fund the higher rate payment for any panels installed by March 3rd.

Juliet Davenport, CEO of 100% renewable energy supplier, Good Energy, said, “The Government’s decision to provide a replacement deadline on March 3rd at least means we know what tariff projects registered before April 1st will get – and will probably result in another mini-goldrush in the next few weeks.  

“But we still don’t know what support projects registered after April 1st will receive.”

Davenport added, “The credibility of the way the FIT budget is set has been seriously damaged, and the Government must reform the tariff to prevent this boom-and-bust situation from happening again”.  

“FIT is a great way to give people more control of their energy bills, so it’s no surprise that the scheme has been popular- it should not be a victim of its own success.”

Friends of the Earth’s executive director, Andy Atkins, said, “This landmark judgement confirms that devastating Government plans to rush through cuts to solar payments are illegal – and will prevent ministers from causing industry chaos with similar cuts in future”.

Atkins says the Government should now “take steps to safeguard the UK’s solar industry and the 29,000 jobs still facing the chop”.
Atkins says the FIT scheme helps “more people to plug into clean British energy will help protect cash-strapped households from soaring fuel bills”. If you want to find out more about solar panels and renewable energy then contact Good Energy.

But there are many more opportunities available to invest in sustainable and environmentally friendly companies. Talk to your IFA to find out more. If you don’t have one, fill on our online form and we’ll put you in touch with a specialist ethical adviser.


Road Trip! How to Choose the Greenest Vehicle for Your Growing Family



Greenest Vehicle
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When you have a growing family, it often feels like you’re in this weird bubble that exists outside of mainstream society. Whereas everyone else seemingly has stability, your family dynamic is continuously in flux. Having said that, is it even possible to buy an eco-friendly vehicle that’s also practical?

What to Look for in a Green, Family-Friendly Vehicle?

As a single person or young couple without kids, it’s pretty easy to buy a green vehicle. Almost every leading car brand has eco-friendly options these days and you can pick from any number of options. The only problem is that most of these models don’t work if you have kids.

Whether it’s a Prius or Smart car, most green vehicles are impractical for large families. You need to look for options that are spacious, reliable, and comfortable – both for passengers and the driver.

5 Good Options

As you do your research and look for different opportunities, it’s good to have an open mind. Here are some of the greenest options for growing families:

1. 2014 Chrysler Town and Country

Vans are not only popular for the room and comfort they offer growing families, but they’re also becoming known for their fuel efficiency. For example, the 2014 Chrysler Town and Country – which was one of CarMax’s most popular minivans of 2017 – has Flex Fuel compatibility and front wheel drive. With standard features like these, you can’t do much better at this price point.

2. 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

If you’re looking for a newer van and are willing to spend a bit more, you can go with Chrysler’s other model, the Pacifica. One of the coolest features of the 2017 model is the hybrid drivetrain. It allows you to go up to 30 miles on electric, before the vehicle automatically switches over to the V6 gasoline engine. For short trips and errands, there’s nothing more eco-friendly in the minivan category.

3. 2018 Volkswagen Atlas

Who says you have to buy a minivan when you have a family? Sure, the sliding doors are nice, but there are plenty of other options that are both green and spacious. The new Volkswagen Atlas is a great choice. It’s one of the most fuel-efficient third-row vehicles on the market. The four-cylinder model gets an estimated 26 mpg highway.

4. 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

While a minivan or SUV is ideal – and necessary if you have more than two kids – you can get away with a roomy sedan when you still have a small family. And while there are plenty of eco-friendly options in this category, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is arguably the biggest bang for your buck. It gets 38 mpg on the highway and is incredibly affordable.

5. 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Diesel

If money isn’t an object and you’re able to spend any amount to get a good vehicle that’s both comfortable and eco-friendly, the 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Diesel is your car. Not only does it get 28 mpg highway, but it can also be equipped with a third row of seats and a diesel engine. And did we mention that this car looks sleek?

Putting it All Together

You have a variety of options. Whether you want something new or used, would prefer an SUV or minivan, or want something cheap or luxurious, there are plenty of choices on the market. The key is to do your research, remain patient, and take your time. Don’t get too married to a particular transaction, or you’ll lose your leverage.

You’ll know when the right deal comes along, and you can make a smart choice that’s functional, cost-effective, and eco-friendly.

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How Climate Change Altered this Engineer’s Life



how climate change affect our lives
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Living the life of an engineer likely sounds pretty glamorous: you are educated and highly regarded, typically have high paying gigs, and with the breadth of knowledge and array of fields of specialty, your possibility for jobs is usually immense.  But what if there was something else that needed your attention? Something bigger than just being an engineer, going to work every day and doing the same technical tasks typically associated with the profession?

For Kevin McCroary, that is exactly how it played out.  A successful engineer, gainfully employed in a prosperous job, a simple trip to the Philippines made him see that there was a bigger issue at hand than using his engineer training in a traditional profession.  This bigger issue was that of climate change.  And working as a volunteer for underprivileged children in the Philippines, he saw first-hand the extensive pollution and poverty that existed here and that impacted the livelihood of these kids and their families.

Upon returning home, from his trip to the Philippines he had a new perspective of the impact we as individuals and as humanity have on the earth, and more than that Kevin wanted to know more.  He started to do some research and study these human-environmental interactions, and shortly thereafter ended up in Greenland.  There, he spoke to a man who had lost his home in a tsunami, and, who, through consistent weather tracking could indeed confirm that the current weather trends were “strange:” there was undeniably a general warming tendency happening in the arctic, causing an array of negative effects.

The combination of these observations, as well as his own research, led Kevin to conclude that something had to be done.  With that in mind, he launched his project Legend Bracelet.  The mission is simple: create a reminder of the legacy we are leaving behind.  As individuals and as humanity, we are leaving behind an imprint on the earth, and the magnitude of it is something that needs to be brought to the forefront of public awareness.  The idea is to have a bracelet that can serve as a daily reminder of the impact on the earth that each of us can have every day, regardless of how big or small.  The bracelet has two capsules: the first is filled with sand or earth, and the second is empty.  As the owner, you are to fill the empty one with your own earth, carrying it with you as a reminder and symbol of your connection and commitment to helping look after our environment.

We are all impacted by climate change, and we all have a responsibility to help.  And it can start with something as simple as putting on a bracelet.  Support Kevin on his Kickstarter campaign for Legend Bracelet, tell others about it, or take action in your own way and play your part in slowing down the effects of climate change.  You may think “but I’m just one person!” You are indeed.  But so is he.  Every change starts with one.

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