Local Energy Scotland respond to DECC's FIT Review Consultation

Local Energy Scotland has today submitted their response to the FIT Review Consultation being undertaken by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The deadline for responses is 11.45pm Friday 23rd October 2015.

A summary of our key recommendations to support the community sector are set out below. You can read our full consultation response here.

  1. The FiT has been a success and is supporting a vibrant and beneficial sector.  We would argue that the changes proposed are too severe and for a modest bill increase to consumers, particularly when considering work from Sheffield University shows that wind and solar power saved consumers around £1.55 billion in 2014, further support should be made available for all sectors to transition to a successful and subsidy free sector.  The community sector will thrive within a buoyant renewable industry with the right support mechanisms.
  2. If budget increases aren’t available DECC must fully deliver on commitments to look at options for the continued support of community energy projects.  We would argue in this case that the FiT should re-focus on the original intended beneficiaries being households, community groups and schools.
  3. A minimum £100m budget to support the transition should be made available from January 2016.
  4. Pre-accreditation for communities, as defined in the FiT order, should be reintroduced from January 2016.  It may be advisable to temporarily restrict accreditations by Community Interest Companies (CICs) whilst a review is undertaken to ensure that adequate guidance is provided around community benefit/ involvement.
  5. Financial modelling on CARES projects shows that the early years of community scale projects are often challenging (even on current rates) whilst debts are being paid off and reserves built.  For the community sector we propose a revision to FiT rules to make double generation tariff payments for ten years, while communities are repaying the capital costs. After these ten years the community would only receive an electricity export tariff for the remainder of the life of their system. 
  6. Proposed tariffs should be increased to reflect the impact of removing the Levy Exemption Certificates which are straight out of the profits of the project i.e. the dividend the communities would receive and more realistic CAPEX for projects based on evidence collected by Local Energy Scotland and others.

We believe that continued support to the community sector will produce significant local community impacts and benefits resulting from self-generated revenues and empowered communities.

 

 


We believe that continued support to the community sector will produce significant local community impacts and benefits resulting from self-generated revenues and empowered communities.