As of 1st April, householders wishing to take advantage of the Feed in Tariffs (FiTs) must show that their property has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of Band D or higher.
For homeowners already benefitting from FiTs but whose properties have an EPC rating lower than D, after the April deadline they will receive only 9p per unit of electricity generated, instead of the current rate of 21p.
Solar Photovoltaic (PV) installations completed between April 1 2012 and March 31 2013 will have up to 12 months from the eligibility date to retrospectively install the energy-efficiency measures needed to meet the EPC requirements.
Encouragingly, the Government has confirmed that the solar PV itself could contribute to a building’s energy-efficiency rating, making it easier for properties to qualify for Feed in Tariff incentives. This means that some Band E buildings will be able to upgrade themselves to Band D simply by having solar panels installed.
While this may slightly dampen interest in FiTs it is a marked improvement on original plans which proposed properties had to meet level C or above. Currently, just over half of all residential properties meet EPC Band D requirements, a significant increase on the 13 per cent that qualify for Band C.
Some members of the industry remain concerned that the government could ratchet up the energy-efficiency requirement in future. This is due to the fact that the door has been left open for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to link the feed-in tariff to its energy-efficiency Green Deal scheme, to be launched in October.
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