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DECC consults over feed-in tariff transferability for commercial installs

November 27, 2014

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has launched a consultation over its plans to allow commercial users to retain their feed-in tariff (FiT) payments if they move premises.

The move has been designed to help allay anxieties commonly expressed by businesses due to the long project lifetime of a typical commercial PV project. Launching the consultation, Amber Rudd, parliamentary under secretary of state for energy said: “Around 900 businesses already use solar PV – but I want to see more generating their own electricity. There’s potential for significant growth in this area so it’s vital that we remove the barriers which prevent businesses from benefiting.”

Rudd continued: “At the moment if a FiT accredited installation is moved it becomes ineligible for further support. This can act as a significant deterrent to landlords and tenants who cannot guarantee to have the long-term ownership or lease of a building. Allowing the panels and the tariff to move with their owner will increase flexibility and make solar PV a much more attractive investment.”

Paul Barwell, CEO of the Solar Trade Association welcomed the long-awaited move, stating: “In order to secure financing and reduce investment risk, it is so important for businesses to be eligible to take their solar installations with them if they move. Over a year ago, the STA identified this as one of the major barriers to more solar PV on big rooftops – it is great that DECC is now consulting on this key issue.”

The consultation will run until 5 January 2015 and forms part of the government’s promise to put “rocket-boosters” under the commercial rooftop sector after identifying it as a preferred market in the national Solar Strategy.

Commenting on the importance of rooftop PV deployment at scale, Rudd said: “If there’s more rooftop solar we’ll see job creation as well as helping us deliver the clean, reliable energy supplies that the country needs at the lowest possible cost to consumers. Solar increasingly offers efficient and cost effective onsite generation opportunities to both businesses and domestic consumers.”

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