Deadline warning over solar panels installation

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SHEFFIELD-based company The Energy Initiative is urging consumers to install solar PV panels as soon as possible, as “harsh cuts” to a government subsidy will make them less financially attractive from December 12.

In September, Sheffield topped an industry league table for solar power generation, with more solar power per household than any other British city.

However with the recently released government review recommending cuts of more than 50% to the current solar PV subsidy, the solar industry fears levels of take-up will be drastically reduced.

“Sheffielders have done themselves proud with how they have embraced solar PV,” said Charles Shilston, managing director of The Energy Initiative.

“Sheffield is on the renewables map because it is an ambitious, forward-thinking, green city. But Sheffielders are also savvy investors and the halved feed-in tariff could affect anyone who installs solar PV from December 12.

“Sheffielders need to act now to guarantee they can make the most out of this unique eco-investment opportunity.

“I hope this won’t stop the ‘Solar City’ from falling out of love with solar PV.”

According to the Energy Saving Trust, a 2.9kWp system can generate 2,500 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year – around three quarters of a typical household’s electricity needs.

At the current rate of 43.3p per kilowatt hour, they calculate that with an average system cost of £11,700, investing in solar PV could earn £28,000 over 25 years from a combination of feed-in tariff payments and energy savings.

The booming local solar industry says it is ready to handle a surge in installations.