Monday 31 January 2011
Energy and Climate Change
The Petition of Savile Burdett, of Axminster, Devon,
Declares that the Petitioner believes that the present regulations concerning Feed-in Tariffs for photo voltaic generated energy in homes are unfair, reward richer rather than poorer people and deter new ideas and technical development; that Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) were introduced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to start on 1 April 2010; that these are payments for various energy saving systems including photo voltaic solar generated electricity (pv solar); that payments are made to the householder, to encourage energy saving and consequential reduction of carbon emissions and additionally to encourage the growth of the industry; that, provided the system is installed to certain preset standards by MCS certified companies, specified payments are made for each unit of electricity generated; that additionally, when more is generated than is needed by the householder at the time, an export tariff is paid for electricity exported to the Grid; notes that if, however, the system is not installed by MCS certificated companies it will not be eligible to receive the FIT generation tariff or the guaranteed FIT export tariff; notes that the Petitioner believes that there are a number of disadvantages to this system; that the current regulations give some degree of monopoly power to certain companies, by in effect charging a householder who chooses to forgo the MCS certificate guarantees and either have the system installed by a contractor whom he trusts, but who is not MCS certified, or to do the work himself, which may be cheaper; notes that householders who install their own equipment or use a contractor who is not MCS certified receive no payment for surplus electricity generated and supplied to the Grid; and further notes that the current regulations may deter development, by discouraging developers from installing and testing new technologies.
The Petitioner therefore requests that the House of Commons asks the Secretary of State to amend existing legislation during November 2010 so that photo voltaic solar collector systems may be installed by any householder who believes himself competent, alone or with the assistance of others whom he chooses, provided the system is inspected for electrical safety by his Local Authority or by the local electricity Supply Authority.
And the Petitioner remains, etc.—[Presented by Neil Parish, Official Report, 20 December 2010; Vol. 520, c. 1283 .]
Observations from the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change:
Feed In Tariffs were launched in April 2010 to incentivise the deployment of small scale low carbon electricity generation and to encourage wider participation of those who would not have traditionally engaged with the electricity market to now do so; namely individuals, householders, organisations, businesses and communities. Generators of wind, solar PV, hydro and micro CHP installation of up to 50kW must use the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) or an equivalent scheme to be eligible for FITs.
There are a number of reasons for requiring MCS (or an equivalent scheme accredited under EN45011) for FITs accreditation, primarily fraud prevention. The MCS requirement provides an assurance that the equipment is actually installed and is indeed generating low-carbon electricity of the type for which it is being rewarded. In the absence of MCS or an equivalent certification scheme, the only way to get this assurance would be to have every installation independently inspected by a third party which would be more expensive, particularly given the number of individual FITs generators that are expected.
Consumer protection is another key consideration. Using the industry-led MCS provides independent affirmation and legitimacy to small-scale onsite energy installations and gives assurances about the likely quality, durability and performance of installations.