PRESS RELEASE: Industry calls for action to follow landmark Net Zero legislation

Today legislation will be laid in Parliament committing the UK to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, following a report from the Committee on Climate Change published last month. The report calls for extensive electrification of the economy and a quadrupling of low-carbon power generation by 2050. [1] Chris Hewett, Chief Executive at the STA said: “Enshrining net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 into law is a vital step in tackling the climate emergency, but long term targets are meaningless without action. In the case of solar and energy storage the Government must move quickly to remove barriers that have needlessly …

PRESS RELEASE: Industry responds to Smart Export Guarantee announcement

Today the government published its final proposals for the long-awaited Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) [1] following a sustained campaign coordinated by the STA over the last nine months in response to the withdrawal of the Export Tariff. By the 1st January 2020 qualifying suppliers with more than 150,000 retail customers will be legally required to offer terms of payment for the surplus power that new solar homes put on the grid. Smaller suppliers are also able to offer a Smart Export Guarantee on a voluntary basis. Many elements in the SEG represent a hard-fought win for the STA and industry: However, crucial to …

PRESS RELEASE: STA Keeping Eye on Smart Export Guarantee Offers

On Monday, the government is set to publish its final proposals for the long-awaited Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). By the end of the year qualifying suppliers with more than 150,000 customers will be legally required to offer terms of payment for the surplus power that new solar homes put on the grid. Smaller suppliers are also able to offer a Smart Export Guarantee on a voluntary basis. The STA wants to see a competitive market develop to purchase power from smart, solar homes. It will be watching the market very closely for developments and ranking all offers via its online Smart Export Guarantee league table, so …

PRESS RELEASE: BEIS Select Committee Persists on Solar Policy Void

Rachel Reeves, Chair of the BEIS Select Committee has written to Acting Energy Minister Chris Skidmore seeking desperately needed answers on policy for small-scale renewables. [1] The solar industry and households keen to invest in solar have been left in policy limbo for months while facing further deterrents to investment from proposed rises in VAT for more complex schemes, including those with battery storage. Provisional deployment data published last week shows poor deployment levels as expected following the closure of the feed-in tariff scheme, however industry is particularly concerned about the state of future monitoring of solar deployment. Recent Parliamentary Questions​ reveal the Government is relying on …

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 …