Government’s solar payment cuts condemned by MEP

Quaker MEP describes governments decision to cut payments to householders who install solar panels as 'dereliction of duty'

Quaker Molly Scott Cato, the Green Party MEP for South West England, has described the government’s decision to ditch payments for householders installing solar panels as a ‘dereliction of duty’.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has announced that, in future, households will no longer be paid for generating electricity under the feed-in tariff.

Instead future households installing solar panels will be expected to give away unused clean power for free to energy firms.

Molly Scott Cato claimed the cuts were ‘a kick in the teeth to householders in the region who want to do the right thing for the climate and help reduce their fuel bills at the same time’.

She said: ‘The government is effectively asking households to hand over their electricity to corporations for free, to generate extra profits on top of the millions they are making already.’

Since the green energy subsidy was introduced in 2010, it has encouraged 800,000 households to install solar panels.

However, solar installations declined substantially after significant cuts to incentives in 2016.

The government said the costs of the subsidies, which are funded by levies on energy suppliers, needed to be reduced to make consumer bills cheaper.

Chris Walker, sustainability and peace programme manager of Quaker Peace & Social Witness, has pressed for solar power, alongside onshore wind power, to be supported by ‘appropriate subsidies and planning rules’.

The recommendations come as part of Britain Yearly Meeting’s call for the government to commit to cutting to ‘net-zero’ emissions by 2050.

‘But to achieve this, it must commit to bold policy,’ Chris Walker said.

You need to login to read subscriber-only content and/or comment on articles.