Energy rating hurdle means 86% of householders would have to spend £5,600 to qualify for feed-in tariff
Wednesday 2 November 2011 10.39 EDTHanna Gersmann
Some 86% of the UK’s homes do not meet the ‘C’ energy rating standard that properties will need to qualify for the feed-in tariff, research shows. Photograph: PANearly nine in 10 households would have to spend more than £5,000 to make their homes more energy efficient before they could be eligible for solar panel subsidies under new rules announced this week.
Under changes announced on Monday, the solar feed-in tariff (Fit) will be tied to the government's "green deal" loan scheme, that aims to make homes more energy efficient.
But 86% of the UK's homes do not meet the 'C' energy rating standard that properties will need to qualify for the feed-in tariff, according to research by the office of shadow energy minister, Caroline Flint.
Bringing those homes up to standard through insulation and heating improvements would "in most cases" cost up to £5,600, according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc). The Renewable Energy Association believes the true cost would be higher, at around £7,000.
Flint said: "These figures prove that the government is going to kill offsolar power as a popular energy saving measure available to the many and make it the preserve of a wealthy few. First they halved the tariff, then they add this energy rating hurdle putting the Fit beyond the reach of 86% of homes."
Homeowners should theoretically recoup the £5,600 – paid in repayments as part of the green deal – through energy bill savings, and will not need to foot the upfront cost. Anyone installing solar panels after 1 April 2012 will need to green their home to the 'C' standard, with those installing before 31 March 2013 getting 12 months' grace to install the measures. The green deal is due to come into effect in November 2012.
The news came as reports arrived of several solar projects already having been cancelled due to the feed-in tariff cuts, announced by Greg Barker on Monday.
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