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Hasty changes to feed-in-tariffs cause concern

30 December 2011 14:52:34

Consumers lack confidence in government FiT plans image
Consumers lack confidence in government FiT plans
Rapid changes to the Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs) have diminished public faith in the scheme and damaged the UK solar industry, according to a report from MPs and two leading select committees.

Members of parliament as well as the Energy and Climate Change Committee and the Environmental Audit Committee found that the government's handling of changes to the charging structure of FiTs was clumsily executed and poorly communicated to consumers.

Changes were hurried through to see FiTs on small-scale solar panels reduced by almost half, to around 21p, a development that came after many homes had installed costly panels expecting a higher return.

Reducing the rate may have been necessary with so many households eager to fit the devices, but announcing the changes in October with the new rate set to come into effect in December will noticeably impact on gas and electric prices for those households utilising solar panels.

Commenting on the FiTs changes, Liz Laine, energy expert at Consumer Focus, said: "The government needs to manage the costs of the Feed-In Tariff scheme as it comes out of consumers' pockets.

"But it must also make sure the scheme works for the people who sign-up to it. We're concerned that consumers are likely to lose out due to the speed with which changes to solar panel subsidies are being rushed through."ADNFCR-2196-ID-801252433-ADNFCR ADNFCR-2196-ID-19464191-ADNFCR

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