Sign our open letter opposing an end to export tariffs

The Government has proposed ending the payment for surplus power exported to the grid, meaning that anyone who has solar installed from April 2019 onwards will almost certainly have to give away any exported power for free, effectively subsidising big utility companies.

In response, we have drafted an open letter, which has been signed by over 200 diverse organisations, urging the Government to reconsider its position and prevent what we and many others feel is a wholly unacceptable position to put consumers in.

If your organisation would like support this call by adding its name to the letter please complete the form below.

The full text of the letter can be found below the form.
OPEN LETTER: MAINTAINING FAIR PAYMENT FOR EXPORTED ELECTRICITY

Dear Minister,

Following the Government’s proposal to close the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) for all new solar installations we ask you to confirm at the earliest opportunity that a fair payment for surplus electricity exported to the grid will continue to be available to new solar projects by householders, small businesses, farmers, community energy groups & community buildings, such as schools and places of worship.

This certainty is needed as a matter of urgency to safeguard the confidence of everyday investors in solar and related ‘smart’ technologies, and of the UK solar industry. The Environmental Audit Committee has recently warned about the ‘alarming collapse’ in clean energy investment since 2016 & the lack of new enabling policies. Removing the fair export for solar power risks compounding this, with further loss of skills & cost efficiencies in the rooftop solar industry.

Naturally we welcome your Department’s commitment to a smart energy system and we share your vision of developing competitive markets into which smart homes, businesses, farmers & communities will be able to offer their services. However, whilst the technology is ready, very complex regulatory issues (for example in relation to export metering, payment levelisation & new market creation) must first be resolved before there is a viable route-to-market for domestic households and a fair reward for their offer.

Substantial work is underway across the industry to overcome the many issues, but the timetables involved mean that there will be a gap, most likely of several years, before their resolution. Meanwhile your FIT consultation proposes removal of the export tariff in just eight months’ time.

If the export tariff is removed next April, householders, SMEs, and others investing in solar & smart technologies will encounter very nascent markets that currently lack regulatory foundations. They would therefore potentially have to spill their power onto the grid for free, effectively subsidising the commercial electricity sector. Domestic households, community groups, farmers & small businesses with solar would be the only generators not paid for their exported power.

We hope you agree that this wouldn’t be acceptable. Such negative treatment will stifle the market, put off early adopters and give the wrong signals about grid interaction to consumers, thus slowing down UK progress towards a smart and flexible energy system.

Instead, we urge you to ensure pioneering citizens have a positive experience of interaction with the grid so that public trust in a smart energy pathway can be firmly fostered. We would therefore also welcome;

  • an interim incentive from next April for metered settlement from smart homes & SMEs with the ability to offer flexibility services, in anticipation of new flexibility markets and modernised regulation to come. This should ensure local capacity is developed for wider system evolution towards a smarter grid while industry works to resolve the barriers, some of which are costly.
  • removal of current policy & practical barriers that could discourage over 800,000 existing solar homes from installing battery storage & smart meters.

The rights of ‘prosumers’ will shortly be enshrined in new European law, requiring Member States to ensure that self-generators are fairly remunerated for their surplus power. This provides a baseline of fair treatment for consumers so they can invest with confidence and around which market innovation can blossom. If that were to happen across the rest of Europe, but not here, then Britain risks quickly losing its position as market leader in smart power, along with all the associated economic benefits and export opportunities.

We urge you to safeguard the rights of UK prosumers and to confirm the secure continuation of the export tariff as soon as possible. We also urge you to positively support the growth of smart homes, businesses & communities across the UK.

Chris Hewett, Chief Executive, Solar Trade Association
Dr Jeremy Leggett, Founding Director, Solarcentury
Howard Johns, Chair, 10:10
Francisco Carranza, Managing Director, Nissan Energy Services
Gavin Stokes, Head of Solar and Storage, E.ON
Dr Doug Parr, Chief Scientist, Greenpeace
Dr Jonathan Scurlock, Chief Advisor, Renewable Energy & Climate Change, NFU
Craig Bennett, CEO, Friends of the Earth
Peter Taylor, Mayor of Watford
Tony Juniper, Executive Director of Advocacy & Campaigns, WWF-UK
Dr Sam Gardner, Acting Director, WWF Scotland
Tom Burke, Chairman, E3G
James Thornton, CEO, ClientEarth
Ross Grier, Managing Director, NextEnergy Capital
Mary Creagh MP, Chair, Environmental Audit Committee, House of Commons
Lord Teverson, Chair, EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee, House of Lords
Tim Breitmeyer, President, CLA
Dale Vince OBE, Founder, Ecotricity
Allen Creedy, Chair, Federation of Small Businesses Energy Policy Unit
Emma Bridge, Chief Executive, Community Energy England
Gerald Vernon-Jackson CBE, Leader, Portsmouth City Council
Nicky Bull, Chair of Trustees, Operation Noah
Toby Ferenczi, Director of Strategy, OVO Energy
Peter Bance, CEO, Origami Energy
Marie van der Zyl, President, Board of Deputies of British Jews
Dr Randall Bowen, Sales & Commercial Director, Good Energy
Merlin Hyman, Chief Executive, Regen
Mike Smyth, Chair, The Schools’ Energy Co-operative
Ruud Frijstein, New Product Development Manager, iChoosr
Cllr Steve Battlemuch, Chair, Robin Hood Energy
Brian Cuthbertson, Head of Environment and Sustainability, Diocese of London
Lior Handelsman, VP Marketing & Product Strategy, Founder, SolarEdge
Cllr Andrew Waller, Deputy Leader, City of York Council
Paul Reeve CEnv, Director of Business, ECA
James Watson, CEO, SolarPower Europe
Graham Harding, Managing Director, BSR Group
Cat Leggat, Team Coordinator for the Community Group, UKYCC
Lesley Rudd, Chief Executive, Sustainable Energy Association
Faye Scott,UK Research & Policy Manager, Ashden
Cian Ciaran, Super Furry Animals
Abid Kazim, CEO, Wise Energy
Colin Baines, Investment Engagement Manager, Friends Provident Foundation
Chris Russell, Managing Director, Tonik Energy
James Cameron, Chairman, Green Running/Verv
Mark Hamilton, CEO & Director, Solo Energy
Jake Burnyeat, Director, Communities for Renewables CIC
Fazlun Khalid, Founder/Director, Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences
Rabbi Mark Goldsmith, Alyth Synagogue and Eco Synagogue
Jonathon Porritt CBE
Bruce Davis, Co-Founder & Joint Managing Director, Abundance Investment
Virginia Graham, Chief Executive, RECC
Alan Simpson, Advisor on Sustainable Economics to the Shadow Chancellor
Caroline Lucas, Co-Leader, Green Party of England and Wales
Lynne Featherstone MP, Energy & Climate Change Spokesperson, Liberal Democrats
Drew Hendry, Energy Spokesperson, Scottish National Party
Cllr Andrew Cooper, Energy Spokesperson, Green Party of England and Wales
Leonie Cooper AM, City Hall Labour Group Energy Spokesperson, Labour Party
Dirk Vansintjan, President, European Federation of Groups & Cooperatives of Citizens for Renewable Energy
Annette Heslop MBE, Director & Company Secretary, Energy4All
Dr Nina Skorupska CBE, Chief Executive, REA
Dr Stuart Parkinson, Executive Director, Scientists for Global Responsibility
Martin Allman, UK Country Director, sonnen
John Keane, CEO, SolarAid
Phillip Wolfe MBE
Catherine Mitchell, Professsor of Energy Policy, University of Exeter
Dr Phillip Leicester, Research Associate and Enterprise Fellow, Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology
Willie Donaghy, Divisional Manager, Blackbourne Energy Solutions
Andy O’Brien, Co-Director, Bristol Energy Cooperative
Gareth Williams, Managing Director, Caplor Energy
David Hill, Managing Director, Carbon Legacy
Louise Quarrall, Director, Carbon Smart
Natalie Joannides, Company Secretary, Chelsfield Solar
Luke Jeffreys, Director, Drakes Renewables
Paul Hutchens, Managing Director, Eco2Solar
Shaun Beattie, Director, Edward Energy
Syed Ahmed, Director, Energy For London
James Eades, Operations Director, Energy My Way
Geoff Fox, Technical Director, Enlightened Solar
Stefano Gambro, Managing Director, Ennoviga Solar
Steve Scott, Managing Director, Forster Group
Matt Brown, Business Development Manager, GenFit
Julian Brooks, Network & Programme Manager, Good Homes Alliance
Andy Atkins, CEO, A Rocha UK
Roger Budgeon, Managing Director, Greenshop Solar
Will Clemson, Managing Director, Helios Renewable Energy
Adrian Simpson, Assistant Director of Consumer Policy, HIES
Rob Jackson, Managing Director, ICB (Projects)
Keith Barnham, Emeritus Professor, Imperial College London
Kai Schuebel, Director, K2 Solar Mounting
Mark Krull, Director, Logic Certification
Jamie Vaux, Head of Wholesale, Midsummer Energy
Jonathan Bates, Managing Director, Photon Energy
Paul Lukehurst, Managing Director, Poweri Services
Ian Brent-Smith, Director, PowerSun
Nick Wood, Commercial Analyst, PowerVault
Thomas McMillan, Director of Energy, Savills
Peter Randall, Managing Director, Solar Kingdom
Liam Stoker, Editor, Solar Media
David Elbourne, CEO, Solarplicity
Stephen Barrett, Managing Director, Solarsense
Sonya Bedford MBE, Partner, Stephens Scown LLP
Gabriel Wondrausch, Director, Sungift Solar
David Hampton, Founder, The Carbon Coach
Stuart Elmes, CEO, Viridian Solar
Mark Osborne, Managing Director, Wagner Renewables
Claire James, Campaigns Coordinator, Campaign against Climate Change
Andrew Simms, Co-Director, New Weather Institute
Rajiv Bhatia, Founder & Director, Alternergy
Gordon Watts, Sustainability Manager, South Yorkshire Housing Association
Paul Metcalfe, Head of Commercial Rooftops, Green Energy International
Bryan Dixon, Senior Electrical Design Engineer, Narec Distributed Energy
George Goudsmit, Managing Director, AES Solar
Tom Raftery, Product Manager, BauderSOLAR
Dave Hodgson, CEO, Eneropp
Liz MacFarlane, Sales & Marketing Director, Segen
Simon Dudson, Managing Director, The Little Green Energy Company
Richard Waxman, Chairman, Waxman Group
Joe Michaels, Commercial Director, JoJuSolar
Bob Marles, Director, CubeRoot Energy
Charlie Carson, General Manager, EcoTech Solar
Chris Clark, Director, Emtec Energy
Michael Middlemast, Category Manager, Seaward Group
Daniel Cole, Director, ECOEnergy
Simon Daniel, CEO, Moixa Energy Holdings
Tony Edwards, Managing Director, NES Roofing & Energy
Sam Tilley, Director, Electec Electrical
Dr Ian Fairlie, Independent Consultant on Radioactivity in the Environment
David Thorpe, Author, Solar Architecture and Solar Energy
Dr Keith Baker, Researcher, School of Engineering and the Built Environment, Glasgow Caledonian University
Dr Eva Novotny, Scientist
Dr Philip Webber, Director, YES Energy Solutions
Oliver Tickell, Editor, The Ecologist
Dominic Whalley, Technical Sales, South West Heat Pumps
Dr. Michael Humphries, Principal, Alpha Energy Solutions
Jon Cape, Managing Director, iPower Energy
Dr Carl Clowes OBE
Lisa Ashford, CEO, Ethex
Dr Barbara Hammond MBE, Chief Executive, Low Carbon Hub
Kirsty Berry, Projects Director, Syzygy Renewables
Andrew Crosland, Founder, MyGridGB
James Felstead, Sales Director, SMA UK
Rob Mardell, Country Manager UK, BISOL Group
Ross Kent, Senior Account Manager UK, Hanwah Q CELLS
Ben Saunders, Founder, SogoSolar
Alan Asbury, Director, CLS Energy & Chair, Low Carbon Club
Dr Rob Davies
Tom Parkinson, Chair, Westmill Solar Co-operative
Liz Reason, Chair, Southill Community Energy
Jason Mccabe, Senior Engineer, Renusol Europe
Tony Cliffe, Electrical Engineer, Steve Rudkin Electrical Contractors
David Cockayne, Managing Director, Oakapple Renewable Energy Ltd
Jon Juxon, UK Director, SunPower
Ian Ransom, Director, Ecolution Renewables
Duncan Crosthwaite, Managing Director, Ceiba Renewables
Clint Cottee, Contracts Director, M.A Broughton Electrical Contractors
Simon Wragg, CEO, Suncredit Energy
Fraser Mackenzie, Director, Voltair Energy
Herbert Eppel CEnv CEng, Director, HE Translations
Ant Flanagan, Founder & Director, Gower Power Co-Op
Kevin Holland, Managing Director, The Solar Shed
Michael Yeoman, Managing Director, Savent Solar
Prof. Ed Brown, National Co-Ordinator, UK Low Carbon Energy for Development Network
Dr Sarah Higginson, Knowledge Exchange (Research), Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions
Dr Saim Memon, Senior Lecturer in Electrical Engineering, London South Bank University
Derek Gould, Executive Committee Member, Merseyside Environmental Trust
Sarah Darby, Associate, Environmental Change Insitute – University of Oxford
Jonny Wilson, Director, Oxford Solar PV
David Munn, Managing Director, Green Energy Solutions
Matthew Roderick, co-Founder, n3rgy
Stuart Reid, Director, Red Electrical
Luke Eggleton, Co-Director, Tesla Electrical Services
Dr Chris Goodier, Director, Centre for Innovative and Collaborative
Cliff Willson, Founder, Bombus Energy Solutions
Carl Reynolds, Founder, Solar Limpets
Duncan Lee, Technical Director, Solar UK
Dan Grierson, Planning Director, The Energy Workshop
Graham Oakes, Founder & Chair, Upside Energy
Alison Finch, Chief Marketing Officer, Huawei Solar Europe
Chris Glen, Technical Director, Social Power Partnerships
Rosie Williams, Account Manager, Greenhouse PR
Cliff Willson, Associate, National Energy Foundation
Jon Gething, Chair, Low Carbon Gordano
Vivienne O’Brien, Director, Athena Electrical
Damian Tow, Founding Director, Brighton Energy Co-op
Jonathan Selwyn, Director, Solar Consulting
Mark Dunville, Technical Director, ARP
Andy Perkins, Managing Director, Energyzone
Michael Hughes, Director, Armstrong Energy
Fausto Furlotti, Chief Executive, IMO Precision Controls
Pol Spronck, Deputy Head of Selected Markets International, SOLARWATT
Jake Barnes, Director, Bristol Energy Network
Yen Dai, Sales Director, Environment Logic
Craig Edmonds, Director, Watt Energy Saver
Sue Mallinson, Environmental Officer, Southwark Diocese, Church of England
Gordon Yule, CEO, Solarkinetics Ltd
David Keates, UK General Manager, SolaX Power Europe
Matthew Clayton, Managing Director, Thrive Renewables
Dr Afsheen Kabir Rashid MBE, Co-CEO, Repowering
Mag Richards, Secretary, Ashfield Community Enterprise Ltd
Mehal Shah, Investment Manager, Downing LLP
Mark Eastwood, Team Leader Utilities, Trina Solar
Shaykh Sultan Niaz ul Hassan, Chairman, Bahu Trust
Tony Sampson, Managing Director, Naked Solar
Cllr Tom Hayes, Oxford City Council
Matthew Kennedy, CEO and Founder, Avenue HQ, Liverpool & Leeds
Damian Baker, Founder, RenEnergy
Colin Deans, Procurement Manager, HBS Group Southern
Steve Dagg, Senior Business Development Consultant, Carbon Credentials
David Thomas, Business Development Manager, Genertek Power
Chris Eades, Director, Craven Energies
Darren Talbot, Director, D2i Management
Charles Perry, Advisory Board Member, Sustainability Hub
Jon Fletcher, Managing Director, Big Clean Switch
Alex Fornal, Director, GreenT Consulting
Mark Crocker, Farmer, Manbys Farm
Marley Bursell, Founder & Director, Deastra
Alban Thurston, Sales Manager, Ecovolt
Scott Burrows, Director, Eden Sustainable
Natalie Woodford, Marketing Coordinator, Fronius UK
Rishi Mehta, Founder, Solarise
Mark Osborne, Founding Senior News Editor, PV Tech
John Harrison, Chief Executive, Christian Conference Trust
Ian Westmoreland, Director, Demand Energy Equality
Justin Broadbent, Chairman, isoenergy
Alex Lockton, General Manager, T H WHITE Energy Fire and Security
Richard Cross, Director, Elmdon Farms
Stephen Marsh-Smith, CEO, Afonydd Cymru Cyfengedig
Tom Chance, Director, National Community Land Trust
Steve Frost, Director, Callidus
Robert Theophile, Construction Site Manager, Breyer Group
Nick Hartley, Secretary, Brent Pure Energy
Andre Pinho, Director, Brixton Energy
Fergus Dowding, Market Gardener, Yews Farm
Martin Fisher, Farmer, W C & E M Fisher & Son
Alistair Graham, Director, Geoger
Sydney Charles, Vice Chair, EN10ergy
Isobel Annan, Co-Founder, UniSolar
John Breedon, Farmer, Lodge Farm
Philippa Paget, Farmer, Elm Farm
Tim Watson, Chair, CREW
Toby Costin, CEO, Social Power
Judith Nathanail, Project Manager, LQM
Rory Meldrum, Consultant Engineer, Ecoenergist
Mike Stephenson, Managing Director, H2ecO
Luke Allen, Solar Installer (Sole Trader)
Shehzad Munshi, Sales & Marketing Manager, Smart Solar UK & Ireland
Laurie Tennant, Consulting Engineer, Energy Matters