Minister slated over fall of domestic solar market

Published:  15 June, 2012

LONDON: Energy minister Greg Barker was accused of “breathtaking arrogance” over the government’s slashing of feed-in-tariff incentives during BBC’s You and Yours programme which highlighted how leading renewable energy installers were now focussing more on the commercial sector than homeowners in the wake of the government’s slashing of feed-in-tariff incentives.

David Hunt, director, Eco Environments, told the programme that the number of domestic solar PV installations had dropped dramatically and that the potential return on investment would fall further when the available tariff was cut this August. Barker said the report was a “travesty” and that the number of installations was growing.

Mr Hunt said: “Greg Barker is being totally disingenuous with his use of figures for installation costs. While our quote of £9,000 is for a 4kW solar PV system, the minister’s £6,000 cost is based on a system half that size. “And, if anyone is offering a 4kW system for £6,000 they are not doing it because they want to – they are doing it to survive and live to fight another day.

“Mr Barker has once again demonstrated both breathtaking arrogance and ignorance at the same time. “There is absolutely no evidence at all that the number of installations is growing at the huge rate he suggests or that they will grow when the feed-in-tariff is cut to 16p from August. The only reason why it appears that there has been a small increase in installations is because orders fell off a cliff following the slashing of Feed in Tariffs in April.

“I am also staggered that the Minister chose to promote a conglomerate like Tesco at a time when the jobs of tens of thousands of workers at independent solar installers are either being axed or are in serious jeopardy."

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