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HPM November 2015

‘£1 solar rescue plan’ Industry offers alternative to Feed-in Tariff cuts 4 Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com NEWSDESK The solar industry is putting forward an emergency rescue plan for British solar which will cost just £1 on energy bills in 2019 as an alternative to the government’s proposed cuts to the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) for the technology. The Solar Trade Association (STA) hopes that its ‘£1 solar rescue plan’ will work for both the solar industry and the government, allowing a viable solar market to continue while giving the government the cost control guarantees it requires. The £1 plan garnered cross-party support from over 30 MPs from all parties last month at an action day outside the House of Commons, including Sir David Amess (Con), Mims Davies (Con), Kevin Hollinrake (Con), Caroline Flint (Lab), Caroline Lucas (Green), Callum McCaig (SNP) and Tom Brake (Lib Dem). The government consultation on the changes has now closed, with a final decision expected later this year. Leonie Greene, head of external affairs at the STA, said: “This emergency plan represents a compromise agreement which, given the current crisis, aims to find a way forward that is acceptable for both the government and the solar industry. “The fact that this plan costs just £1 per household shows just how affordable it could be to adopt steady, gradual reductions in support for solar.” “Solar is close to grid parity, but it is not there yet. The government’s 98% cut in the overall budget for solar would derail the industry at the last hurdle and waste the millions of public investment in solar to date.” The STA’s proposal introduces higher tariffs than those proposed by government, with higher and more flexible caps on the total amount of solar that can be deployed and an improved mechanism to continually bring support levels down. The trade body is asking for a total of £95 million over the next three years, a significant increase on the £7 million the government is proposing over the same period. The plan would only add an extra £1 per year on average household energy bills from 2019 for new solar deployed over the next three years, which would generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 875,000 homes. Utility company, Good Energy, published a report showing that solar and wind generation is already helping to reduce wholesale electricity costs with a reduction of £1.55 billion on power prices in 2014, thereby offsetting much of the cost of supporting the renewable technologies. The proposed cuts have already dealt a heavy blow to investor confidence in the market, with three solar businesses, Mark Group, Climate Energy and Southern Solar, having already gone into administration over the last few weeks making over 1,200 people across the country redundant. The STA has estimated that up to 27,000 jobs in the solar sector and its supply chain could be at risk if the proposed reductions in tariffs go ahead. AKW holds charity golf day AKW has held an immensely successful charity golf day at Gaudet Luce Golf Club, in aid of St Richard’s Hospice. This year has smashed all previously raised amounts with a whopping £4,178.15 (above) from only 39 guest golfers from AKW’s invited business partners. The annual event at Gaudet Luce Golf Club, in Worcestershire, was followed by an evening dinner, raffle and auction where the prizes were donated by those who attended. PlumbStock is launched Ridgeons, the leading timber and builders’ merchant in the east of England has unveiled its new brand for heating and plumbing – PlumbStock. The 100-year old business, aimed at heating engineers and plumbers, added the new PlumbStock brand to its Group of companies in September, NOVEMBER 2015 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY with the first branches opened in Hitchin, St Neots and Diss inside existing Ridgeons’ outlets. It is anticipated that PlumbStock will have a network of 12 infill and two new standalone branches by the end of 2015. Double delight for Grant UK Grant UK has scooped two awards at the Heating and Renewables Awards in Coventry. The company won the Innovation of the Year category for the Grant Vecta biomass boiler and the Training Initiative of the Year for its G-One Scheme, Worker loses finger A company that manufactures heat recovery units has been fined after an employee had to have a finger amputated. Dudley Magistrates’ Court heard how on March 10, 2015, a 36-year-old employee of AirDesign (UK), in Dudley, was operating an unguarded notching machine when his finger became entangled in the machinery causing injury to a finger on his left hand, which later required amputation to the second joint. AirDesign (UK), of Netherton, was fined £2,000, and ordered to pay £632.68 in costs with a victim surcharge of £120 after pleading guilty to an offence under Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. Health and Safety Executive inspector, Karl Raw, said: “The need to guard dangerous machinery is well known with established industry guidance available in relation to standards and methods.” which supports oil and renewable installers with training, installation and Microgeneration Certification Scheme accreditation. Team up with Honeywell Installers are being offered the chance to make this Christmas one to remember, as Honeywell launches its Team Up promotion for the third time. The competition from manufacturers, Honeywell, MK Electric and Ex-Or, will offer installers a chance to win a Christmas cracker of prizes – including the Apple Watch. Installers can register at: teamup.honeywelluk.com NEWSINBRIEF WWW.HPMMAG.COM VERIFIED* HPM’s individual reader enquiries have now passed 535,000 from buyers and installers of your products and services *source: March 2013 HPM RSC analysis bureau The initiative has garnered support from 30 MPS, some of whom attended an action day on October 21


HPM November 2015
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