Homeowners Will Need to Spend Money Under New Solar Rules

It’s not been the greatest of weeks for the renewable energy industry, following the news earlier this week confirming the Government’s intention to slash solar subsidies.

Now it seems householders are going to face yet another hurdle as they struggle to become more energy efficient. According to new research, almost nine in every ten households will have to spend money on their properties to increase their energy efficiency, otherwise they won’t be eligible to benefit from solar subsidies.

Changes to the solar feed-in tariff (Fit) are to be tied to the Government’s revolutionary Green Deal scheme – set to be introduced next autumn – which means homes will have demonstrate a high level of energy efficiency. If a property doesn’t meet these new domestic energy efficiency requirements, the Solar PV installation may only be eligible to receive a lower tariff rate of just 9p/kWh, as opposed to 21p per kilowatt hour of electricity generated. However, according to research conducted by Caroline Flint, the office of shadow energy minister, a massive 86% of homes fall below  the ‘C’ energy rating standard needed to qualify.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) estimates that it will cost most households £5,600 to implement measures around the home, such as cavity wall insulation and loft insulation, and installing energy efficient boilers, if they are to bring their homes up to the required standards. However, if the Renewable Energy Association  (REA) is to be believed, such home improvements are likely to be considerably higher. According to REA the true cost is nearer to the £7,000 mark. Although under the Green Deal any costs should be recouped through energy bill savings.

“These figures prove that the government is going to kill off solar power as a popular energy saving measure available to the many and make it the preserve of a wealthy few,” said Flint.

“First they halved the tariff, then they add this energy rating hurdle putting the Fit beyond the reach of 86% of homes,” she added.

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