Archive for 'Blog'

Jan 06

The Prime Minister delivered a speech in Manchester today unveiling the Government’s plans to help drive growth and create jobs across the country.

He said:

“Getting behind tourism, green energy, pharmaceuticals, advanced manufacturing, aerospace, the industries of the future – all this is crucial.

“But it would be a big mistake if we stopped at those big ticket industries. Because if you look at where growth has come from in recent years, you see that it’s the small, innovative companies that hold a lot of the potential.”

PV FIT Ltd Managing Director, David Houston, welcomed this news by saying “as a small business we welcomed the introduction of the very attractive Feed-in Tariffs in April ’10 as it gave a stable platform to innovate and grow. Since FIT’s were introduced there has been a lot of speculation on the coalitions commitment to the previous Governments renewables policy. This fresh statement of intent to help develop green energy is very encouraging”.

David went on to say “our long term strategy is to become a major player in the renewables sector, creating local jobs in Chester, as well as expanding our nationwide installer network. I’ll look forward to learning how the coalition are going to support us in achieving this goal over the coming months, and years”.

Read the full speech

Source: http://www.number10.gov.uk/news/topstorynews/2011/01/pm-unveils-strategy-for-growth-58464

Jan 04

The increase in the amount of energy generated from renewable sources in the UK over the next decade will surpass that of every other EU Member State, according to Chris Huhne. The energy and climate change secretary conceded the UK’s poor standing in EU’s renewable energy rankings, and said the UK has “a massive catch up” to do.

According to the latest official figures, in 2008 the UK ranked third from bottom on renewable energy in the EU ahead of only Luxembourg and Malta.

“We are exceeded in our paucity of delivery only by Malta and Luxembourg. This is the legacy we have inherited. The essential legacy is pretty damn poor. We have got massive catch up. We will be the fastest improving country on renewables in the EU between now and 2020. I’m absolutely determined about that and it will happen.”

The UK has been sluggish in getting its renewable industry off the ground, but investment has started to pick up dramatically in the last few years, particularly in offshore wind farms.

A recent report carried out by Bloomberg Energy Finance for Pew Charitable Trusts forecast that, based on current policies, $114bn (£73bn) would be invested in renewable energy in Britain between 2010 and 2020, the fourth highest amount in the world. Germany will spend more, but its rate of investment will fall, according to the report. Huhne’s comments will reassure environmentalists that David Cameron’s post-election pledge to be the “greenest government ever” remains a priority.

Source: This article first appeared at the Guardian. See the full article in BusinessGreen

Dec 15

According to the Daily Telegraph, Britain’s 38 million savers have been urged to invest their money in the stock market after being warned that for many of them it is now a “waste of time” putting their cash into a savings account.

The warning came after official figures indicated that the cost of living had increased once again in November, making it nearly impossible to earn a real rate of return on any bank or building society savings product.

A sharp jump in the price of clothing and food was blamed, taking economists by surprise, many of whom expected many retailers to cut prices in the run up to Christmas. There are fears inflation will carry on climbing next year because of the incresase in VAT from 17.5 per cent to 20 per cent and higher gas and electricity bills.

“The problem with shares is they are speculative so can go up, or down with some more secure than others” says Oliver Yeates, Director of Chester based solar energy installers PV Fit Ltd. “Surely a safer option is to invest in a solar pv system, which offer a typical return of £1000+ per year through the Governments ‘Clean Energy Cashback’ more commonly known as the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme?”.

Launched in April 2010, the UK’s popular FIT offers consumers an above market rate to homeowners (and businesses) for renewable electricity they generate. The tariff rate is guaranteed for 25 years, index linked and any income from is tax free – with capital cost of the initial installation paying back in as little as 8-10 years.

The solar energy system needs to be installed by a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) approved installer in order to be eligible to claim the FIT. “With energy prices continuing to rise and interest rates remaining low solar pv has never been a more attractive investment. You’re roof doesn’t even need to face due South with good performance even from unshaded roofs facing East or West” continues Oliver. “As MCS approved installers with nationwide coverage we at PV FIT Ltd have seen a huge shift towards solar energy given the very attractive FIT and increases in household electricity bills”.

Although solar FIT rates were not reduced in Octobers spending review, there was an announcement that the level of funding available for the scheme will reduce by 9% in April 2012, or before if “excessive demand”. Those who adopt late are likely to miss out so now’s the time to go solar – contact us today for your free solar survey.

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/investing/8202251/Investors-told-forget-savings-accounts-think-of-shares.html

Dec 07

The BBC and Sky News reported Bosses of the UK’s leading energy companies have told a committee of MPs that bills are likely to rise in years to come.

They told the Energy Committee that the “inevitable direction of wholesale prices” meant domestic bills would get more expensive over the next decade. One suggested that prices could rise by between 15% and 25% by 2020.

Paul Golby, the chief executive of E.ON UK told the politicians his firm had no intention of increasing prices this year, but added: “The inevitable direction of wholesale prices is upwards.”

“In terms of tariffs, I think we will see continuous rises throughout the next decade. The only way we can combat that is of course through energy efficiency measures.”

source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11935869,

source: http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Business/Only-Way-Is-Up-For-Gas-Bills-Warn-UK-Big-Six-Energy-Companies/Article/201012115849459?lpos=Business_News_Your_Way_Region_5&lid=NewsYourWay_ARTICLE_15849459_Only_Way_Is_Up_For_Gas_Bills%2C_Warn_UK_Big_Six_Energy_Companies)

Oct 20

The Chancellor George Osborne today announced that Feed-in tariffs will not be subject to spending cuts, contrary to speculation leading up to the spending review. that the Government will continue with the planned programme review in 2013.

“Today’s announcement comes as a huge relief to the Renewable Energy Industry and more importantly our customers. It provides us with stable incentives which will allow us to grow and attract investment in a stable manner. This is a great success for all you lobbied to maintain the FIT levels” says David Houston, Managing Director of PV FIT Ltd who are a nationwide installer of photovoltaic systems for domestic and commercial customers.

Also today the Government committed to introducing Renewable Heat Incentives (RHI’s) for renewable heat technologies. We are waiting on further details to emerge from the spending review which we will publish shortly.

Contact us today for a Feed-in Tariff eligible pv quotation for your property…

Picture courtesy of the BBC

Oct 12

On the day that Greg Barker, Minister for Decentralised Energy endorses “Feed-In Tariffs” for solar power, the industry releases figures showing how the industry has growth since the introduction of the policy.  Since April, homeowners and commercial sites have benefitted from guaranteed long-term tariff rates for the green electricity they generate.

“In the first five months of the scheme, the tariffs have had more impact on solar PV than other technologies, but that’s hardly surprising,” said Gaynor Hartnell, Chief Executive of the REA.

“Solar panels are the most straightforward renewable power generation technology for the average householder.  All you need is some roof space with the right aspect.  It is usually rapid to install and planning permission is rarely required as it is permitted development.   Even so, it is important to keep this growth in perspective.  Last year, the UK installed just 2% of the PV installed in Belgium, so we have a lot of catching up to do.”

There is considerable confusion about the exact number of projects which have been built as a consequence of the Feed-In Tariffs, as the Ofgem site includes projects that were built before the regime started.  So far around 2,000 such schemes have been transferred from the Renewables Obligation on to the Feed-in Tariff list.  These include installations that were commissioned after 15th July 2009, and are eligible for the full tariff rate, and those that were commissioned before 15th July 2009 that receive 9p per kWh.  There are currently around 6,945 new PV installations, commissioned since April 1st, benefitting from Feed-In Tariffs.  78 of these were larger schemes, serving multiple occupants and the rest householders themselves.  The deadline for notifying Ofgem that you would like to transfer to the Feed-in Tariff list is given as 1st October in Ofgem guidance notes. There are at least 570 more projects currently on the RO register, to transfer to the FIT register, and possibly many more.  There has been interest in larger projects, but none have yet been commissioned.  There should be some clarity very shortly, when Ofgem publishes a newsletter which will give information about the transferral timetable.

The Renewable Energy Association has surveyed its members, and claims that the tariffs have resulted in a 62% increase in employment levels to date, with an overall increase of 125% likely by the end of the first tariff year.  The growth in jobs among companies supporting the ‘We Support Solar’ campaign is also consistent with the REA survey findings.
The Renewable Energy Association and the We Support Solar campaign are delighted with this progress, welcome Greg Barker’s support and call for long term stability in order to bring forward investment.

“This data is strong evidence that the industry is now starting to expand in the UK after many years of stop-start support which got us nowhere,” said Leonie Greene, Campaign Manager for ‘We Support Solar’.

“The UK industry needs a sustained period of confidence and stability to invest for growth, so that deployment can be increased and costs can come down in future.  It is very encouraging to see Energy Minister Greg Barker today recognising the importance of the FIT scheme for the emerging PV industry – and for communities that want the power to go green.”

For more details, please see the press release below.

Feb 01

Households and communities who install generating technologies such as small wind turbines and solar panels will from April be entitled to claim payments for the low carbon electricity they produce.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband today announced the feed-in tariff (FITs) levels and also published a blueprint for a similar scheme to be introduced in April 2011 to incentivise low carbon heating technologies. The renewable heat incentive (RHI) will be a world first.

The schemes are designed to bring about a significant increase in the amount of locally produced green energy, as a contribution to the wider shift of the energy mix to low carbon.

Ed Miliband said:

“The guarantee of getting an income on top of saving on energy bills will be an incentive to householders and communities wanting to make the move to low carbon living.

“The feed-in tariff will change the way householders and communities think about their future energy needs, making the payback for investment far shorter than in the past.

“It will also change the outlook for a range of industries, in particular those in the business of producing and installing small scale low carbon technology.”

From 1 April householders and communities who install low carbon electricity technology such as solar photovoltaic (pv) panels and wind turbines up to 5 megawatts will be paid for the electricity they generate, even if they use it themselves. The level of payment depends on the technology and is linked to inflation.

They will get a further payment for any electricity they feed into the grid. These payments will be in addition to benefiting from reduced bills as they reduce the need to buy electricity. The scheme will also apply to installations commissioned since July 2008 when the policy was announced.

A typical 2.5kW well sited solar pv installation could offer a homeowner a reward of up to £900 and save them £140 a year on their electricity bill.

Mr Miliband was speaking as he visited low income homes in Dagenham being helped by eaga’s Clean Energy for Social Housing project to make the move to microgeneration. The scheme offers free clean energy technology to tenants in social housing which will lower their electricity bills and carbon emissions.

John Swinney, eaga Director of Strategy and Corporate Services, said:

“By utilising the feed-in tariff initiative and installing free solar technology this programme can cut energy bills for those most in need. We are also recruiting and training renewable energy engineers directly from the local communities where the green technology is being installed.

“This innovative development can be offered right across the UK. We expect thousands of households to benefit in the first few years and up to 300 additional green energy jobs could be created as part of this programme.”

The Department of Energy and Climate Change also published today plans for a scheme to incentivise renewable heat generation at all scales. This will come into effect in April 2011 and guarantee payments for those who install technologies such as ground source heat pumps, biomass boilers and air source heat pumps.

Under the proposed tariffs the installation of a ground source heat pump in an average semi-detached house with adequate insulation levels could be rewarded with £1,000 a year and lead to savings of £200 per year if used instead of heating oil.

The heat incentive could help thousands of consumers who are off the gas network lower their fuel bills and gain a cash reward for greening their heating supply.

Details of funding for the scheme will be published in the Budget 2010.

Dec 07

UK PV industry faces the void as industry fights for more ambitious tariff scheme

Funds for solar photovoltaic (PV) under Phase II of the Low Carbon Building Programme (LCBP) have again run dry leaving large parts of the UK PV industry without support.

2009/12/03 09:00:00 GMT

The LCBP ‘pot’ was meant to carry the industry through until next March and bridge with the new ‘Feed-In’ Tariff scheme, which starts in April 2010.  It is hoped the Tariff scheme will finally provide the long-term support framework that has been missing in the UK.

However, not only has the funding pot been depleted with no notice, the PV industry also has no idea of what support it can expect under the governments Tariff scheme, making it very difficult to plan ahead or win new business.

Ray Noble, PV adviser at REA said; “This development puts the On-site renewables industry in a very difficult position.  On the one hand it’s absolutely right that DECC and the Treasury re-examine the Tariff proposals which are too low. However, the PV industry now urgently needs bridging funds and clarity on the Tariff proposals.  It’s another fine mess for the UK PV industry.”

The REA is calling for a 10% Return on Investment (ROI) for the Tariff scheme for the first three years. DECC’s modelling shows that a 10% ROI delivers three times more renewable energy than current government proposals at an extra cost to households of £1.20 per year up to 2013.

Over 30 major organisations have written to MPs alongside the REA calling for a much more ambitious approach including the Federation of Small Businesses, the TUC, WWF and Friends of the Earth. The REA has written to DECC Ministers and frontbench spokespeople setting out the case for a 10% ROI.

Oct 13

We are pleased to announce the launch of our new website today.  Please feel free to post your comments below.