FiT cuts could be ‘blessing in disguise'

Published:  02 November, 2011

SHEFFIELD: SIG Energy Management’s managing director Neil Donald has suggested the proposed Feed in Tariff cuts could be a blessing in disguise when it comes to improving the sustainability and efficiency of the UK’s housing stock.

Mr Donald hopes the proposed 55% cut to Feed in Tariff, while drastic, will encourage homeowners to adopt a ‘whole house’ approach to energy.

“The financial incentives offered for solar PV installations through the Feed in Tariff have encouraged homeowners and providers to forgo other energy efficiency measures in favour of the more financially attractive option of PV,” explains Neil.

“Although the cuts proposed have the potential to damage the growth of the PV industry, at least in the short term, they will hopefully encourage homeowners and the industry in general to take a more holistic view of carbon reduction.

“At SIG, we have always encouraged customers to adopt a ‘whole house’ approach to carbon reduction, of which energy generation technology is just one element. Indeed, if homeowners do not ensure their property is performing efficiently in the first instance, then home energy generation falls at the first hurdle.

“The proposed cuts determine that buildings that do not meet energy efficiency requirements will receive a lower rate still,” points out Neil. “This has clearly been established to actively encourage homeowners, landlords and solution providers to take a more holistic, ‘whole house’ approach to energy efficiency – something that should be welcomed by the industry.”

While optimistic that the changes will benefit the industry in the long term, Neil Donald implores the government to provide clarification on how the forthcoming Green Deal will fit into the new landscape of funding for home energy generation.

“The Feed in Tariff has been instrumental in stimulating the growth of the industry, and there is no doubt that these cuts are a bitter blow for those who solely provide PV installation services.

“What the industry needs to see from the government now is a clear explanation of how, if at all, the Green Deal will serve to plug this funding gap. If this clarification is not provided, then the government is jeopardising future investment in this burgeoning and potentially vital UK industry.”

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