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Last week the government lost the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) appeal and confirmed that they were seeking permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. Going forward, what kind of time frame on the Supreme Court appeal can we expect, and when can we anticipate any further news on the future of FIT?

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has 28 days to apply for an appeal. The Supreme Court has 8 weeks to accept or reject DECC’s application to appeal. If accepted, it may take 8 months for the appeal to be heard.

In short, the solar industry is still in the dark about what tariff rates their customers will receive for installations between 12th December and 3rd March, and are likely to remain so until far beyond the new cut-off date.  

As Inside Housing’s Nick Duxbury reports: ‘It is hard not to feel that the government is playing the legal system to fight a battle they never expected to win in order to save money in the long run’

Separate to the wrangling over the legality of the 12th December, there are some important questions still to be answered which arguably could have a much greater impact on the future of microgeneration.

There should be some developments on this by the end of next week, with DECC stating that they still intend to publish the phase 2 consultation by 9th February. This will include proposed tariffs for installations after 1st April and rates for other technologies such as wind and hydro. Crucially, DECC also intend to publish their response to other controversial aspects of the consultation, including the proposals around energy efficiency which will prevent many households from taking up FIT.

So overall, setting aside the legality of the 12th December date, we should know a lot more about the government’s plans for FIT by 9th February. The question is, will the scheme become a victim of its own success, or will we see a bright new beginning for the Feed-in Tariff?

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