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E.On offers push to UK government to empower solar initiatives

The leading utility provider has urged the UK government to encourage homeowners to take up solar PV and batteries during growing policy uncertainty

The company, which announced a major domestic solar-plus-storage drive in the UK, made the call to the government a week after it announced plans to scrap the export tariffs as a part of much wider review of policy support.

This means that while much of the industry is currently considering its response prior to the dual consultation deadlines, in late August and early September respectively – E.On has decided to promptly come out in support of solar.

Sara Vaughan, E.On’s political and regulatory affairs director, emphasized the huge responsibility of the tasks that lie ahead – if the country is to ever meet the government’s clean growth strategy ambitions – and that solar would be an efficient way for homes and businesses to contribute.

 “We believe the government needs to develop a new framework to encourage domestic solar, based around the concept of a Green Mortgage that can help customers spread the upfront costs, as well as tax incentives such as reduced stamp duty, which create additional value for homes that have invested in solutions to deliver a higher energy performance.” she stated.

In addition she also highlighted the need for tax incentives towards solar applications. Adding :“In addition, we support calls to exclude solar from business rates, to cut VAT on domestic battery installations so homeowners can use the maximum amount of the energy generated by their solar panels, and also use the forthcoming housing review to ensure solar becomes standard on new homes and can be included in re-roofing projects.” 

Green mortgages and tax incentives have been mooted by the industry as potential ways to incentivise small-scale renewable uptake without impacting on consumer bills, but they have not been explicitly mentioned by the government in any of its proposals so far.

In general, Business rates and the way VAT is structured for domestic batteries have long been battle lines for the Solar Trade Association.

 “Addressing these issues is an urgent priority to ensure customers have a clear picture of the benefits and payback periods to reward the investment they make or have made in solar technology,” Vaughan concluded.

13 September 2018 is the final date of closure for the consultation on the future of the export tariff.

-GBO Correspondent

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