Government U-turn on green energy rewardsHigher FIT payment rates are not 'value for money'

13 October 2010

Solar panels on a house

Solar panels should be mounted on a south-facing section of your roof 

David Cameron has reneged on a pre-election promise to reward early adopters of home renewable energy systems, such as solar panels, with higher Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) payment rates.

The FIT scheme, which launched in April 2010, entitles households to cash payments for every unit of energy they produce using renewable technologies, such as solar panels.

Different FIT rates

While 41.3p is awarded for every unit of electricity generated by solar panels installed after July 15th 2009, the power generated by similar technology installed prior to the cut-off date is only worth 9p under the FIT initiative.

Installing solar panels may help to cut bills and generate a FIT income, but they're not ideal options for everyone. Have a look at our how to buy solar panels guide for jargon-busting advice, as well as a realistic view of the savings you should expect on your energy bill.

U-turn on FIT

Prior to the election, Cameron had acknowledged that it was unfair to 'penalise the very people who were the early investors in local energy', and that everyone would be entitled to the higher tariff under the 'greenest government ever'.

But the coalition now claims that a higher tariff for all would 'not represent value for money', and there is speculation that the 41.3p rate will be cut as part of the spending review.

Generate your own energy

Generating your own renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, can be an expensive business as the technology required doesn't come cheap. Our energy grants advice guide offers tips on the grants that are available to help pay for renewable technologies.

Which? also recently revealed the truth behind a raft of deals currently available promising free solar panels in exchange for FIT payments. 

Our research found consumers could save as much as £10,500 over the next 25 years by buying their own solar photovoltaic (PV) system instead of signing up to a scheme offering ‘free’ solar panels. Read the full story ‘Free’ solar panels not such a great deal here.

Lower your gas and electricity bills

You can compare energy prices and switch to a new gas and electricity supplier on Which? Switch. People who switched with us between 1 October and 31 December 2013 are predicted to save an average of £234 a year on their bills.

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