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Hold On Solar Panel Installation For Now, Advises Supplier

A leading solar panel supplier has advised homeowners to exercise caution against having solar panels installed by individuals, since they could be guilty of ‘misselling’ due to the uncertainty over the feed-in tariffs by the government.

Daniel Green, the chief executive of a leading solar panel company which recently won a lawsuit against the Government over its decision to slash subsidies for electricity generation, is advising caution to homeowners.

“Nobody knows what the tariff is,” said Green.

He advised homeowners to stay all installations till the completion of the legal procedure.

Last year, the Government made an unpopular decision to cut the feed-in tariff from 43.3p per kilowatt to 21p. On December 12th, the Government ruling was upheld and came into effect, even as consultations over the viability of the ruling were still underway.

During the legal hearing, Justice Mitting ruled that halving the feed-in tariff in the midst of consultations was unlawful and should be stopped. Several premier solar panel companies had joined hands to fight the case against the Government.

This came after thousands of people, who had signed up for having solar panels in UK installed in their homes, were unable to receive them due to the Government’s decision of halving the feed-in tariff.

This Friday, the Government will be challenging Justice Mitting’s ruling in the Court of Appeal. The permission to appeal along with the appeal itself will take place on the same day. Daniel Green said that the Government could still prolong the uncertainty period by re-appealing to the Supreme Court, even if it lost the case in the Court of Appeal.

Craig Bennett, the director of another reputed solar panel firm, said that the appeal process “will simply add to the cloud of uncertainty hanging over the solar industry – and the thousands of jobs at stake.”

At present, the solar panel industry in the UK is comprised of approximately 3000 companies that take care of installations. In light of the Government’s decision, there is a heightened fear that many people will be revoking their orders, since the ‘free’ panel offer under the Rent-a-Roof scheme will no longer be a utility.

The Government explained the decision of halving the feed-in tariff, stating that since the cost of installation had fallen and take-up had been much higher than what was expected, it had no choice but to slash the tariff. It also reasoned that customers had been receiving up to 10 percent returns, rather than the 5-8 percent returns that had been predicted. As a result of the new feed-in tariff, customers will have to wait 20 years instead of ten in order to recoup the cost incurred.


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