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Government to appeal feed-in-tariff ruling

DECC to challenge High Court desicion on 13 January

Solar panel on roof of house

The government has lodged an appeal against a High Court ruling on its plans to cut the amount of money people can earn by installing solar panels at home.

Last month Friends of the Earth and solar companies Solarcentury and HomeSun took the government to court claiming plans to slash the amount of money paid to householders that produce electricity at home – through a scheme called the Feed-in-tariff (FIT) – weren’t given a fair consultation. 

High court ruling

The High Court ruled that the government had breached consultation rules as the proposed date when eligibility for higher payment rates would end was before the consultation into the changes was completed.

Our guide to the feed-in-tariff explains how this scheme, which is paid for by consumers through subsidies on energy bills, works.

New solar challenge

The Department of Energy and Climate (DECC) change has applied for permission appeal against the High Court ruling. Read our coverage of the previous solar court case.

The case is due to be heard on 13 January. If permission to appeal is granted the appeal itself will be heard on the same day.

In a statement a DECC spokesman said: ‘Without an urgent reduction in the current tariffs, which give a very generous return, the budget for the scheme would be severely depleted and there would be very little available for future solar PV generators, or for other technologies.’

Solar panel payment changes

In October 2011 the government proposed a reduction in FIT payments from April 2012 – from 43.3p per kilowatt-hour to 21p – for new installations registered after 12 December. These changes mean solar might not be such a good financial investment.

Previously, this change was due to affect solar installations registered on or after 1 April 1 2012.

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