|Andrew Cooper with the solar panels installed on Civic Centre 3|
Green Party Councillor Andrew Cooper has urged Huddersfield householders to install solar panels as soon as they can. Following newspaper reports and mistakenly leaked documents it has become clear that the Government has plans to halve the Feed In Tariffs for solar photovoltaic panels.
Currently people can claim 43 pence for every kilowatt of electricity they generate off their roof but the government now plans to cut this to around 21p from the beginning of December.
Councillor Cooper who has solar panels himself said,
“If people install solar panels now before the cut is due to take place in December then they will get the 43p rate for the next 25 years if they were to install them after that they would get less than half that.”
I recommend that people get three quotes from local companies. You can save significant amounts of money by comparing the prices of installers. A list of installers in our area can be obtained from the Yorkshire and Humber Microgeneration Partnership website www.yhmp.org
You should make sure your contractors and the components they install are registered under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme. All companies on the www.yhmp.org website should be.
It is also worth checking the warranty period on the solar panels and the inverter which converts the DC electricity from the panels into the AC electricity that we use in our homes. You can get warranties of over 20 years for solar panels but it can vary more with inverters.
If you can’t afford the capital cost of solar panels then there are companies that will install them on your house for free. They claim the feed in tariff and you get the benefit of the electricity generated of the roof saving you around £150 - £250 per year depending on the number of panels you have and the current cost of electricity. One such company is A Shade Greener who are based in Tankersley www.ashadegreener.co.uk another is Home Sun www.homesun.com
Commenting on these cuts Councillor Cooper said,
“These cuts by the government are nonsensical. Over 25,000 people are employed in the solar industry and these cuts are a threat to them. The cost of the Feed In Tarrif is very small less than 50p/year on the average fuel bill and a fraction of the cost of government subsidies of nuclear power stations. As always it is those on the lowest incomes who will suffer the most. This cut will jeopardise free solar schemes for people unable to afford the upfront costs of solar panels and planned schemes for council tenants properties which are self funding under current Feed In Tariff arrangements but may not be following the proposed cut. The government’s claim to be the Greenest Government ever is looking increasingly hollow and lacking in substance.”