Court Action Result for Tariffs


The widely publicised court action between Friends of the Earth, solar companies and the Government has swung in favour of the solar industry with the Court ruling that the fast track solar subsidy cuts were legally flawed.

Whilst this appears to be good news for those who failed to make the deadline it still creates uncertainty. The REA (Renewable Energy Association) provides an overview of what the ruling means for customers:

Judicial Review - Friends of Earth & Home-Sun & Solar-century win case against government on solar.

The implications of the Judicial Review decision mean that the pre 12th December tariffs cannot be changed until after the full parliamentary process i.e. an 8 week consultation, followed by a review of the responses and then a 40 day period before the legislation takes effect. This is unless the Government wins an appeal.

Government was not given leave to appeal, but if it wants to make a case it must put that forward by 4th January 2012.

Effectively the situation for systems going in now is one of two things.

  1. If Government is able to appeal, and then wins, we go back to the current situation. I.e. there is a consultation ongoing, and a domestic system can expect to earn 21p (or whatever government concludes after the consultation) from 1st April.
  2. If government is not able to appeal, or if it loses on appeal, then the 43p tariff remains in place until the Parliamentary process has concluded (expected to be 1st April 2012).

ORBS Energy says:

We recommend that anyone considering the installation of Solar PV should install before the 1st April deadline, it is highly likely that further measures will be introduced at this time that will make it harder for homeowners to install Solar PV, such as energy efficiency measures. If the tariff reverts to 43p, then customers will be rewarded, if it remains at 21p they will still get a 10% average return on their investment.