Confirmation from the Government that households and community-scale renewable energy projects will receive cash rewards for generating electricity have been welcomed by Community Energy Plus – Cornwall’s leading charity delivering local solutions to fuel poverty, energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Following a consultation last summer, the government has today (1 February) published the feed-in-tariff (FITs) levels, which have been set higher than the levels proposed in the consultation document. From 1st April, households and communities will be able to receive payments for the low carbon electricity they generate, even if they use the energy themselves.
The initiative has been designed to increase the amount of locally produced sustainable energy and help the government meet ambitious targets to generate 15 per cent of the country’s energy requirements from renewable sources by 2020.
Ian Smith, Managing Director of Community Energy Plus, said: “Feed-in-tariffs will undoubtedly become a valuable incentive for households and community projects to take a serious look at the opportunities to move towards low-carbon living.
“A key factor that will inevitably influence the take-up of microgeneration will be the initial investment costs. While the newly announced feed-in-tariffs assure payback within a ten to 25 year period, the upfront costs will prevent many from benefiting. It’s important that renewables don’t just become an eco-friendly badge for more affluent households and I look forward to seeing how the government proposes to address this problem in their consultation later this year.”
The feed-in-tariff levels have been set for the next eleven years with payment levels varying across different types of technology. Although all FITs payments are linked to inflation, some technologies are subject to a reducing scale of payments, meaning that the maximum returns will be gained by those that act early to take advantage of the scheme.
Ian Smith continued: “As part of our work to reduce the carbon emissions that contribute to climate change we’re working with a number of communities to develop renewable energy projects. The feed-in-tariffs offer community-scale projects a good incentive to invest now and benefit from lower energy bills and an income to invest in future projects. We look forward to helping many more projects develop plans to build sustainable low carbon communities.”