Homeowners using solar panels to generate renewable energy face unwelcome change in 2019. The UK Government and energy regulator Ofgen have announced measures that will increase the cost of power generation and reduce support for new projects.
From April 2019, the scheme that allowed homeowners to earn a small income from passing their excess energy to the National Grid will come to an end. This scheme – the Feed in Tariff Scheme – was intended to reward those who invested in renewable energy and offset some of the cost. For those who applied to join the scheme before 31st March 2019 nothing changes and you will continue to receive payments.
A replacement scheme is intended to be introduced. What this is or how it works has yet to be thought through, although it is believed it will be some kind of “market trading” approach. Until that happens, and the UK Government has a reputation for dragging its heels, homeowners joining the micro-generation revolution will effectively be supplying power to the National Grid for free.
The short-term effect of this is energy bills will rise as there will be nothing to offset any Grid energy used in the home. Longer term it may stall some marginal projects, or make them harder to justify.
If you are considering moving to generating your own solar power during 2019 the advice is to get started quickly and make sure you’re ready to submit your application to FIT before 31st March 2019.
Image credit: 10 10 (creative commons licence)