Feed in Tariffs (FITs) still represent a fantastic return on investment, despite the recent reduction announced by the Government, lead generating company Quotatis has claimed.
FITs were launched by the government in April 2010 in a move designed to encourage the widespread domestic installation of photovoltaic panels. To this end the scheme has been very successful – there were more than 16,000 new solar PV installations in September 2011 alone – as homeowners have taken advantage of a generous tariff that paid them 43.3p/kWh for every unit they produced whether they used that energy themselves or sold it back to the grid.
At the end of October 2011, the Department for Energy and Climate Change announced that FITs would be reduced to 21p/kWh for new projects, and homes would have to prove that they are already energy efficient to qualify for the tariff.
“There has been something of a panic following the Government’s announcement to reduce the FITs, which I believe is unjustified,” Teresa Gizzi, Quotatis’s sales director, explained. “FITs make up just a small part of rapidly growing and important industry, and despite people’s fear that it will pull the rug out from beneath it, the opposite is probably true.
“When FITs were launched 18 months ago, the cost of an average PV installation was about £13,000. That figure has dropped to around £9,000 and is still falling. Therefore, homeowners will still get a return of anywhere between 4% and 10% on their investment – far better than what the high street banks are offering! Plus, energy bills will still be lower.”
Teresa went on to explain that looking at the FIT in isolation ignores the many other benefits that energy efficient products bring. “The Government’s other announcement – that homes have to prove a minimum level of energy efficiency before they qualify for FITs – is positive news for industry,” Teresa explained. “You can’t view solar power on its own – generating your own energy is just one piece in a huge jigsaw puzzle of reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. There’s no point in enjoying free electricity when the sun shines, only to whack up the heating when it gets dark.
“Therefore, the industry must work together to educate homeowners on how to save energy by making their homes more efficient, rather than just sell them the sexy shiny panels for their roofs.”
Quotatis was recently endorsed by the Energy Saving Trust to give impartial advice to homeowners on energy saving matters. “This means we can now offer in-depth advice – backed up by the highly respected Energy Saving Trust – on a range of energy saving methods, including double glazing, insulation, replacement boilers and renewable energy,” Teresa said.
“This, in turn, provides opportunities for our business partners. Energy prices are still increasing, and homeowners are looking at a variety of ways to make their homes cheaper to run. They approach us for advice, and any resulting leads are then passed on to our registered team of installers.”
Concluding, Teresa said: “People are not going to lose interest in the energy efficiency of their homes just because FITs have been reduced. Now, more then ever, businesses need to position themselves to make the most of a revolution in sustainable home improvement.”