The National Inspection Council for Electrical Installers (NICEIC) and The Electrical Contractor Association (ELECSA) fear thousands of jobs could be at risk following Government plans to slash the Feed-in- Tariff (FiT) rates for solar PV by up to 87%.
The cuts, due to be implemented in January 2016, would see FiT payments for new solar panels drop to less than two pence per unit of electricity. This means homeowners would receive up to, on average, £190 less in subsidy payments annually, compared to current FiT rates.
NICEIC and ELECSA believe this reduction could have a significant impact on demand for solar PV technology and lead to further consequences for those people working within the industry.
Renewables specialist at NICEIC and ELECSA, Dani Putney said: “The Feed in Tariff played a major part in making solar PV an attractive option for many householders. It has always been accepted that the tariff would need to be revised in line with falling installation costs, but at the proposed rates homeowners would have to wait decades before they would see a viable return on investment. To suddenly pull the plug on funding in such a drastic manner could have a dramatic, negative effect on the market and potentially put thousands of jobs at risk.
“We believe there are some alternatives the Government could consider to safeguard the long-term future of the industry.“
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said the cuts were necessary to halt a £1.5 billion overspend on renewables. It has also suggested that subsidy payments could be halted entirely in 2016 if costs could not be controlled.