The uncertainty of Government feed-in tariffs has led to Solar Panel Installers to overcharge their clients. The authorities recently decided to reduce the rebate paid to suppliers of panels by almost half with the consequence that the suppliers were either unable to commit themselves to installing or overcharged clients to make up for the deficit.
The Government did not consult with suppliers before the reduction in rebate on December 12th of last year. In fact, at that time consultations were still ongoing between the authorities and the installers.
In the UK alone around 3000 companies offer their services in solar panels. Most were unable to deliver and install the panels already purchased by their clients due to the new ruling. This left thousands of homeowners bitter and disappointed.
While it was previously calculated that owners of panels will be able to recover their costs within 10 years, the new tariffs would allow this to happen not before 20 years. This was the result of unforeseen estimates, mainly due to the fact that demand was far greater than expected.
The Government delayed the decrease until April 1st but warned that households which did not comply with national standards would receive around 80% less in terms of rebates. The delay was due to an Installers injunction against the Government, which led to the Courts denying the authorities permission to reduce the rebate in December of last year.
Households would have to meet energy efficiency requirements or end up receiving the revised and much lower tariff of 9p per kwH. This tariff contrasts greatly with the current 43.3p per kwH being paid.
To bring a household in order with Government standards, homeowners would have to ensure that the property has a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating level of C in terms of performance.
A Government spokesman said that these measures were being taken to ensure that households benefiting from solar panel rebates become truly energy efficient by being in line with national standards set up in the wake of the solar panel introduction.
Although losing the battle at Court with the Solar Panel Installers, the Government has still forged ahead with its lowering of tariffs, from 43.3p per kwH to 21p per kwH. This has angered both Installers and households alike.
Homeowners must now be wondering whether the hype of solar panels has been dampened already and Installers pondering their future!