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Government's solar panel appeal rejected

The Government has failed to get permission to appeal to the Supreme Court over the cutting of solar panel subsidies.

The Government had appealed a High Court ruling that its plans to cut the subsidies were illegal.

Under the 'feed in tariff' (FIT) scheme, homes that produce energy through solar panels can recoup some of the cost through the Government. The Government had originally planned to halve the original tariff of 43.3p per kilowatt hour to 21p p/kwh for homes with panels installed after 1 April after the scheme attracted huge take up.

However, The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) had tried to speed up and bring forward the reduced rate for households that registered its panels on and after the 12 December 2011, two weeks before a consultation on the change had ended.

Critics argue that the altered rates had been undertaken without adequate consultation and caused huge uncertainty in the construction industry. The High Court consequently overruled the DECC. An extra £700 million will now be handed out to homes with solar panels following the ruling, according to The Telegraph.

The Supreme Court's decision is now final and the following subsidy rates will apply:

  • Solar schemes finished before 2 March 2012 will get 43.3p per kilowatt hour for the full 25 year term.
  • Schemes finished between 3 March and 31 March will temporarily get the old 43.3p per kilowatt hour rate until 1 April, when it will reduce to 21p p/kwh.
  • Schemes finished after 1 April will get the reduced rate of 21p p/kwh.
  • The rate will drop further to around 13.6p p/kwh by July.

Responding to the decision by the Supreme Court, energy and climate change secretary Edward Davey said: "We are disappointed by the decision of the Supreme Court not to grant permission to hear this case."

"We will now focus all our efforts on ensuring the future stability and cost effectiveness of solar and other microgeneration technologies for the many, not the few."