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Frequently asked questions - Feed in Tariffs (FITS)

Are the tariffs guaranteed?

Yes, they were introduced through and protected by the Energy Act. You must also remember that the Government is legally obliged to hit the EU’s 15% renewable energy commitment by 2020 and the tariffs are an important means for achieving that.

Who pays for the tariffs?

The Feed-In Tariffs will be paid for by everyone who doesn’t do it. In other words, the energy suppliers will pass on the additional cost within electricity bills. The Government is still to announce the details of how the Renewable Heat Incentive will be paid for.

Would we be able to apply for the Feed-In

Tariffs if we are not connected to grid? The Feed-In Tariffs are payable for off-grid applications (though they obviously can’t get the export bonus).

Will the FITs apply in Northern Ireland?

No, the enabling powers in the Energy Act didn’t extend to Northern Ireland. The Assembly is considering doing something similar - you’ll need to lobby them.

Will my existing renewable energy system qualify?

As it stands, only systems installed after July 15th 2009 will qualify for the full Feed-In Tariffs and Renewable Heat Incentive rates. A reduced rate of 9p/kWh is available for those with renewable electricity systems that were on the Renewables Obligation scheme. Nothing is currently available for anyone with a renewable heating system. However, the Conservatives pledged before the election to allow everyone to qualify for the full rates and we wait to see if they fulfil this promise.

I am a tenant, can I still benefit?

Yes you can. Many landlords allow tenants to make superficial alterations to buildings and this could include the installation of renewable energy systems, especially if you are a long-term leaseholder. If this is not possible then ask your landlord to consider installing renewable energy systems as you would save considerable amounts of money on your energy bill and your landlord would be paid for the energy you generate so you both win.

What do I do if my house is listed or has other planning restrictions?

If you are listed or have other planning restrictions on your property such as being in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty you will have to seek permission for many of the systems. It really depends on your local authority and other third parties as to how easy you are going to find this.

What if I move home?

The tariff income will transfer over to the new owner. Many people are concerned that they will lose out on their investment but we believe that in the same way that a new kitchen or bathroom adds value, so will renewable energy systems... except unlike a new kitchen or bathroom, the new owner will actually earn money.

Are there grants available?

All central Government grants have ceased. Some grants are available at a regional or local level but there are many restrictions about how these can be used.

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