After the well publicised reduction in FIT rates for new applicants at the end of January, the rate of installations in the domestic market has dropped substantially. The most recent report from the MCS organisation shows that as of the end of March, there were 2,300 registered MCS installation companies. The government is using that number to claim that the renewables sector is still strong. What they have not highlighted is the net reduction in the number of installation companies over the 3 month period to end march which is approximately 1,000. The rate of companies closing or dropping out of the industry is under-reported and not slowing down. This means that if the trend continues, there will be next to no renewables companies left in 6 months time. That is not a good position for the UK to be in as we continue to try to improve our energy supply resilience and costs.
H2ecO has highlighted this issue to the MCS and our local MP Michael Tomlinson (Conservative) and we wait to see what response we get.
In our local area, most of the companies we routinely competed against for business have liquidated with AP Chant of Bridport, Apple Solar, NGPS Ltd and Save Energy Group being just part of the list.
The good news is that the general media reporting on PV has led the public to believe that FIT’s have finished or are not worth considering anymore. This simply isn’t the case and a 10% return on the cost of a system is still realistically achievable. That is the same situation as existed when we started the business 6 years ago. The problem is trying to get that message out to the wider public.
We hope our existing customers are still willing to recommend us to potential new customers safe in the knowledge that they are still recommending a reliable installer and that the finances do still make sense – along, of course, with the difficult to quantify feel-good factor of saving carbon emissions and not being quite as dependent on the big 6 energy companies who we expect to put prices up again towards the end of the summer using the oil price increase as an excuse (even though their pricing did not track oil down very well!).
H2ecO is still offering a £100 referral fee to any existing customers for installations that go ahead.
To find out more about the current achievable return on investment with Solar PV for your home or business, please get in touch