Hugo House, head of business development at Good Energy, writes how the company’s offices are staying open over that critical weekend to help solar generators get Feed-in Tariff applications in on time.
Ever since the Government controversially announced the new earlier application deadline of midnight on December 11th for qualifying for the higher Feed-in Tariff (FIT) rate, the race has been on for new solar electricity generators.
To qualify for the higher Feed-in Tariff rate for solar generation under 50kW, customers need to have commissioned their installation, obtained a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) certificate number, and register with a FIT licensed electricity supplier before midnight on 11 December.
However this deadline is somewhat deceptive; the 11th is a Sunday, and with many electricity companies not able to accept applications at the weekend, this timescale may be even shorter than it seems.
Good Energy, the UK’s only 100% renewable electricity supplier, is opening its offices for the weekend of the December 10th-11th to help small solar electricity generators meet the deadline.
Founder and CEO, Juliet Davenport, said, “The decision to bring the FIT deadline forward is creating a mad scramble in the industry, from consumers to installers, and that’s something the Government has to avoid happening again in future.
“However, as specialists in all aspects of the Feed-in Tariff, the Good Energy team wants to help those who are committed to generating their own green electricity get their installations registered on time.”
The Good Energy office in Chippenham, Wiltshire, is opening its doors to the public from 10am to 4pm on Saturday December 10th, and 12pm to 6pm on Sunday December 11th, to receive applications in person and provide advice over the phone.
Applications will also be received by email right up to the deadline of midnight on December 11th, giving generators the best possible chance to qualify for the higher rate in a less-than-ideal set of circumstances.
From the April 1st 2012, payments for domestic solar electricity generators will be reduced across the board for installations completed after 11 December 2011. Rates for sites of 4kW or below will be reduced from 43.3p per unit to 21p.
However, Good Energy believes that this reduction should not discourage potential generators who are not able to meet the deadline.
Juliet Davenport continued, “Despite the reduction in the tariff, we believe that solar PV remains a good investment for households looking to shelter themselves from volatile energy prices whilst reducing their carbon footprint.
“The scheme should become more accessible as the price of solar panels continues to fall. We’re really proud of our community of over 10,000 independent generators – the mini-power stations of the future.”
With the UK currently importing around 60% of the energy we use, freeing us from the dependence on fossil fuels becomes increasingly important. Research from Friends of the Earth shows households could face increases in bills of around £300 per year as the costs for producing fossil fuels to generate electricity spiral ever higher.
Good Energy has a long history of encouraging and supporting independent generators. We believe they’re an essential part of achieving a home-grown renewable energy future in the UK.
We pioneered incentives for renewable generators almost a decade ago; long before the current government FIT scheme was introduced, through our award-winning HomeGen and SmartGen schemes.
Recognised as specialists in the industry, we were invited by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to share our expertise when the Government FIT scheme was created. We have been supporting independent generators from the very beginning and will continue to do so, up to the FIT deadline and beyond.
Despite turbulent times and an uncertain future for the industry, the early signs are that people will continue to invest in solar PV despite the reduced rates of return of return.
Good Energy believes it’s right the tariffs under the scheme accurately reflect the cost of installing the technology, but also that it’s important the Government recognises that the value of FIT goes beyond encouraging people to invest in clean, green power.
It’s a powerful force for changing the way people use their energy. When we understand where our energy comes from we will value it more and use it less.
If you are already in the process of installing solar PV, make sure your paperwork reaches us by midnight on December 11th to qualify for the higher rate. We are opening our doors on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th December to give you the best chance to get your applications in, and will be on hand as usual to offer advice and support, so please come by.
For those who have not yet installed, we will continue to offer expert advice and guidance. As the cost of solar panels continues to fall, we believe microgeneration will continue to be a good green investment.
To find out more about how to invest in clean, green energy, visit Blue & Green Tomorrow’s Energy page.