Higher feed-in tariffs guaranteed until 3rd March, high court rules

The Court of Appeal upheld a ruling that the Government’s hasty proposals to cut Feed-in Tariffs from 43.3p to 21p/kWh for solar PV installations completed after 12th December were illegal.

Following the recent appeal, DECC lost the case when the judges ruled that the changes – brought about by claims that the higher Feed-in Tariffs were “unsustainable” given the unprecedented demand –  were made too rapidly and before the end of the official consultation, giving the solar industry only six weeks’ notice.

The government has been refused permission to appeal and will now have to reimburse costs to the solar industry, as well as paying the original higher tariffs for consumers who carried out solar PV installations since 12th December 2011, up until the 3rd March 2012.

However, Feed-in Tariffs will still be reduced to 21p from the 1st April for any installations completed after the newly proposed eligibility date, 3rd March 2012, providing longer term certainty to solar PV installers in the UK.

DECC is now believed to be seeking a second appeal with the Supreme Court.

Peter Shone, managing director at JPCS welcomed the news:

“Following the recent news of the High Court ruling, there has been ensuing interest in the marketplace for new solar photovoltaic schemes and we have already received a number of enquiries for new installations at JPCS.

Yet despite the ‘rush’, we believe that even after the 3rd March, when the Feed-in Tariffs are set to be reduced, solar PV will continue to be good value for money and a viable commercial option, not to mention the long term sustainability benefits. As always, we will continue to work with our clients to provide best value solutions and bring down the cost of installation wherever possible.”