Builders' Merchants News

£140m solar compensation bill

Published:  23 January, 2013

The government is fighting claims worth £140m for losses following its illegal cuts to the solar feed-in-tariff after the number of firms claiming compensation doubled.

Legal action started after the Department of Energy and Climate Change announced in October 2011 that it would slash by half the feed-in-tariff for solar power, which is paid to those people that install solar panels on their property for the power generated. The announcement saw solar installations slump.

The move was subsequently ruled illegal by the High Court because the 12 December cut-off date stipulated by the government was before the government's consultation on the change had ended.

A government spokesperson said: "The department does not accept it has any liability and we will vigorously defend our position."

2012 was a difficult year for the solar industry  however the solar companies that survived are now looking to sue the government and use the proceeds to cover any losses and trade properly in 2013 to fulfil the returning consumer demand. The claim being led by Prospect Law has seen an initial claim from three companies in July 2012 for £2.2M to 17 companies all filing a claim against the FIT tariff changes that caused a disastrous year of trading for their business.

The companies bringing the legal claim are Solar Power PV; Solarlec; Crystal Windows and Doors; Breyer Group; Freetricity; E-tricity; Foz Electrical; Green Home; CI Installations; Viscount Solar; Vsolar; House Choice; Evo Energy; Solar Panels Direct; Monitor My Solar; Apollo Energy; and Cleaner Air Solutions.