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UK: Reminder of changes to Feed-in Tariffs from 1 April

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The Department of Energy and Climate Change is introducing a range of changes to the FITs scheme to come into effect on 1 April 2012 following a consultation at the end of last year. The changes will help ensure that current tariff levels for solar PV are more closely matched to installation costs, and that solar PV is considered as part of a whole-house approach to saving energy and carbon.
  • New FITs tariffs for solar installations up to 250kW for those with an eligibility date on or after 3 March 2012
  • Minimum energy efficiency requirement for properties installing solar panels to obtain the highest level of FIT payment
  • New solar PV multi installation tariff rate


Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “These changes will help improve the Feed-in Tariffs scheme, ensuring it is a scheme for the many and not for the few. I am currently looking at how it can be further improved to offer certainty for householders, communities and industry and would welcome thoughts on our proposals. I want to see a bright and vibrant future for small scale renewables in the UK and allow each of the technologies to reach their potential where they can get to a point where they can stand on their own two feet without the need for subsidy sooner rather than later.”

New tariffs for solar installations up to 250kW
A new tariff rate of 21p/kWh will take effect for domestic size solar panels with an eligibility date on or after 3 March this year. Other tariff reductions also apply for larger installations.

Minimum energy efficiency requirement for properties claiming FITs for solar PV
DECC has also put in place a minimum energy efficiency requirement for anyone wanting to install solar panels on their building and claim the full FIT rate. From 1 April properties will be required to produce an Energy Performance Certificate rating of ‘D’ or above to qualify for the full FIT rates. This is a change from the two options set out in the consultation, which were that the requirement should either be an EPC ‘C’ rating, or that all energy-saving measures should be installed that were cost-effective under the Green Deal. It is estimated that around half of all properties are already eligible for a ‘D’ rating. The tariff levels for properties meeting the requirement are as set out in the above table. Where properties do not meet the requirement, they will receive 9p/kWh (apart from >250-5MW and stand-alone installations, which always receive 8.9p).

New solar multi installation tariff rate kicks in
New ‘multi installation’ tariff rates for PV set at 80% of the standard tariffs will also be introduced from 1 April for solar PV installations where a single or individual organisation is already receiving FITs for 25 or more other solar PV installations. This is designed to reflect the lower costs these installations experience through economies of scale. Based on responses received to the consultation, individuals or organisations with 25 or fewer installations will still be eligible for individual rate.

Government is currently consulting on a range of improvements to the FITs scheme. Proposals currently out for consultation look at reducing the tariffs for solar over time to reflect market trends and uptake and also consider changes to the tariff levels for the other small scale technologies supported under the scheme. Government is also consulting on the treatment of social housing and community schemes under FITs.