PRESS RELEASE: Industry welcomes Labour’s ambitious and inclusive solar homes policy

The Solar Trade Association today welcomed the Labour Party’s announcement that it will support over a million new domestic PV installations across the UK, through a mixture of fair export tariff payments, grant funding and by driving large economies of scale. The policy will specifically target low-income households, particularly those in social housing, as part of the party’s wider retrofitting programme aimed at improving the energy performance of UK homes. The announcement follows the closure of the Feed-In Tariff and the export tariff last month, and comes at a time when the industry is fighting new unhelpful proposed changes to the VAT treatment of solar combined with battery storage. [1] 

PRESS RELEASE: Record broken as UK solar hits all-time generation peak of 9.55GW

Particularly clear, bright and cool conditions have helped solar to break the all-time generation record for the technology in the UK. On May 13 2019, around noon, solar hit a generation peak of 9.47GW, surpassing the previous record of 9.38GW set in May 2017. That record was broken again on May 14 2019, with a generation peak of 9.55GW reached at around 12:30pm. STA Director of Advocacy and New Markets Léonie Greene said; “It is impossible to argue with the numbers. The bright clear skies combined with mild temperatures means solar has consistently met big portions of electricity demand throughout recent days.

PRESS RELEASE: Industry associations call on HMRC to scrap proposed VAT changes for energy saving materials

HMRC is proposing fundamentally changing the way that the reduced-rate of VAT is applied to solar, as well as other household renewable technologies. Currently, the 5% reduced rate of VAT applies to installations of solar and combined installations of solar and storage as solar is listed under the energy-saving materials and heating equipment list. [1] If implemented, HMRC’s complicated proposals will lead to the cost of an installation being charged at the full 20% VAT rate but only in circumstances where the cost of the materials exceeds 60% of the total cost of the installation. Installations typically consist of two elements – …

PRESS RELEASE: VAT threat to ‘smart’ homes but most standard solar remains safe

HMRC is proposing fundamentally changing the way that the reduced-rate of VAT is applied to solar, as well as other household renewable technologies. Currently, the 5% reduced rate of VAT applies to installations of solar and combined installations of solar and storage as solar is listed under the energy-saving materials and heating equipment list. [1] If implemented, HMRC’s complicated proposals will lead to the cost of an installation being charged at the full 20% VAT rate but only in circumstances where the cost of the materials exceeds 60% of the total cost of the installation. Installations typically consist of two elements – …

PRESS RELEASE: New Solar Era Begins

Monday officially marked the first day of the UK solar industry’s post-Feed-in-Tariff era, with the scheme closing to new installations as of midnight on Sunday. The period in which this hugely successful scheme was active saw solar PV bring clean power to over 900,000 homes across the country, as well as to thousands of businesses and community groups. 93% of solar users have said they are satisfied with its performance [1], and robust quality assurance standards mean that, according to the Renewable Energy Consumer Code, fewer than 1% of all installations have been met with complaint. Thanks to the scheme, solar is now a common-place sight in neighbourhoods …

PRESS RELEASE: Octopus Energy Grabs Top Spot in Domestic Solar Export Guarantee League Table

Octopus Energy has brought the sun out for solar consumers and the UK solar industry on the first day after the closure of the UK’s Feed-In Tariff scheme. The innovative energy supply company is offering both a simple fixed payment for all surplus power exported to the grid at a fair market rate, and a ‘smart’ tariff, which will enable homes with solar and battery storage that can control when they export power to the grid to potentially benefit from even higher rates because they can export at ‘peak’ times when power is more expensive. The development will give much …

PRESS RELEASE: UK solar comes of age as Feed-in-Tariff scheme ends

Today officially marks the final day of the Feed-in-Tariff, with the scheme closing to new installations as of midnight tonight. The period in which this hugely successful scheme was active saw solar PV bring clean power to over 900,000 homes across the country, as well as to thousands of businesses and community groups. 93% of solar users have said they are satisfied with its performance [1], and robust quality assurance standards mean that, according to the Renewable Energy Consumer Code, fewer than 1% of all installations have been met with complaint. Thanks to the scheme, solar is now a common-place sight in neighbourhoods all over the …

PRESS RELEASE: MPs back solar industry call for fair market payment

MPs, Peers and the Solar Trade Association have called on Energy Minister Claire Perry to respect the right of ordinary people to a fair minimum floor price for the electricity they export to the grid. [1] The consultation on the new scheme for rewarding exports from small-scale low-carbon generation [2] closed last night, sparking debates in both the Lords and the Commons. In a small boost to the market, a Government Minister in the Lords confirmed on Monday that households and other small generators will be eligible to receive the new Smart Energy Guarantee when it is in place. [3]

PRESS RELEASE: Solar tech’s central role in zero carbon buildings

The Solar Trade Association has welcomed The Committee on Climate Change’s new report on UK housing stock and its readiness for climate change. [1]. It is undeniable that the standard of homes (existing and new) must be significantly improved to achieve high energy efficiency and low carbon buildings.​ However, the Association is concerned by the exclusion of solar technologies from the report. The omission is particularly surprising given the Government’s Grand Challenge Building Mission, as set out in the Industrial Strategy, which includes unregulated energy (such as plug-in appliances and devices), that accounts for 40-50% of total buildings energy use, as well as regulated energy that …

PRESS RELEASE: United against the TCR

The STA has joined five other leading industry associations representing clean and decentralised energy in calling on Secretary of State Greg Clark to review the current approach to network charging reforms. [1] Ofgem’s reforms aim to reallocate how the costs of networks are recovered, with a view to recovering all of the ‘residual’ network costs through end-users via fixed charges, depending on a rudimentary categorisation of user type. This is a major change to the current approach where these network costs are recovered across end-users and generators depending on their electricity consumption.