Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Cuts to solar panel scheme could be 'phased in' after public backlash

The Government is under huge pressure over the turmoil caused to people and businesses because cuts to the “feed-in tariff” scheme are coming in so quickly on December 12.

Thousands of homeowners have been caught out because their applications for new panels are stuck in the planning system or waiting for a connection to the power grid.

They have paid up to £4,000 in deposits for their installations but there is little hope of meeting the deadline before the subsidy is halved, which is likely to make their investment uneconomic.

Concerned by the backlash, Greg Barker, the Climate Change Minister, is considering whether to “phase in” the cuts to help people who are losing out because they will narrowly miss the deadline, according to sources in the department.

However, he will only be able to do this if there is enough money left in the £867 million budget after a consultation period finishes at the end of December.

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