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Closing Quarter Massive for Solar

On the 22nd of January the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) published the October to December statistics for solar installation. This report showed that more than 65,000 installs were completed, compared to 40,000 for the same period in 2014.

Installations were largely under 10kW, but still combine to give a total output of over 350MW.

This sharp rise in fourth quarter installations was put down to homeowners and business rushing to take advantage of the Feed in Tariff (FiT) before it was slashed at the beginning of this year. The total installs for quarter four showed an increase of over 50% from the third quarter figures of 43,000 total solar installs, alongside a boost in projects being scheduled for before the 15th of January when the new subsidy cuts came into force.

According to Paul Barwell, CEO of the Solar Trade Association “The statistics released today are not unexpected as an increase in the amount of solar being deployed ahead of the cut on 15 January was always likely.

“However, the ‘huge rush’ some predicted has not really occurred, perhaps reflecting the 2015 stable market conditions as well as the cut in absolute terms was less than in 2012 – an 8p cut instead of a 20p cut. We won’t know the full impact until January’s stats are published.”

The Government has announced that a maximum cap has been placed on the amount of solar installations it wishes to see every quarter.


An update from RECC has provided some insight into how the quarterly caps will be implemented and what will happen if the property doesn’t meet the Energy Performance rating of a D or above.

Who will decide how much I will get paid?

Ofgem will determine which FIT rate you are eligible for. They will base their determination according to the date and time on which your MCS Certificate was issued. These Certificates will be placed into a queue in the Central FIT Register, and yours will be allocated strictly in turn to the next available quota. So this means that your FIT rate will depend on how many other people are registering their installations at the same time as you, and when the quarterly quota is met.

Utility Trade is tackling this uncertainty by quoting figures for the following quarter’s FiT rates as the degression have now been formally announced up to 2019.  The earlier in the quarter you get your installation completed the more likely you will receive a better FiT rate than what we have quoted.

What happens if my property doesn’t meet high enough energy efficiency standards?

To be eligible for the FIT tariffs set out in the table above you must have an Energy Performance Certificate for your property rated at least Band D. You must have this Certificate in your possession before you have your solar PV system installed, and you are not allowed to count your future solar PV installation towards the Band D rating.

If your property does not meet the Band D requirements you are still eligible for standalone FIT payments. But you will receive a much lower rate. From 8 February 2016 this rate is 0.87p/kWh and this will reduce in line with strict quarterly quotas in the same way as the higher FIT rates outlined above. You will also receive the export tariff of 4.85p/kWh for 50% of your generation.

Of course on the EPC there will be a number of efficiency measures recommended to increase the rating of your premises, here at Utility Trade we are able to assist you in making the necessary improvements to the building so that you can not only get the higher FiT rate but also save even more money by implementing a number of changes that improve the energy efficiency of the building.

Under the new subsidised cuts the tariff rates for commercial 10-50kW solar installations has decreased from 11.3p/kWh at the higher tariff on a building with an EPC rating of band D or above to 4.73p/kWh.  This may seem like solar is no longer a viable option, however that is certainly not the case and we are seeing a number of enquirers for solar installation still.

This is mainly down to the fact that ultimately solar is a way of generating electricity and removing dependency from the grid and the pricing changes from electricity suppliers.  Solar will provide a steady supply at a decreasing cost, whereas your supplier will provide a steady supply at an increasing cost.*


So for businesses who operate during the day solar electricity can be utilised very successfully.

So it is not too late to take advantage of the FiTs. With these incentive payments and the permanent reduction in electricity bills many business are seeing the benefits of installing solar PV. Contact Utility Trade today to find out more.

Government officials have stated that they are willing to discuss these changes and the effects they are having on the industry.



solar panels

*DECC electricity price 10 year forecast.