Hits to FiTS will kill off jobs, warns ECA
The Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) has issued a strong warning to the government that any plans for a drastic cut in Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) are set to wreak havoc with green jobs and growth, and could easily send out the signal that small scale renewables are too risky for installers or customers to invest in.Paul Reeve, head of safety and environment, said, ‘The government risks killing off growing businesses and jobs in the green sector if it undermines FiTs.’ People only install PV panels if the sums clearly add up. A big cut in FiTs could stall the domestic installation market, even if it looks marginally feasible on paper.
‘If this is overdone it could destroy the prospects of thousands of small businesses at a time when unemployment is rising. We wonder if the cost of losing existing ‘green’ jobs, and preventing the creation of new ones, has been thought through. It would be a peculiar reaction by government to the undoubted success of domestic PV installation.’
Reeve added, ‘There are ways in which government can adjust FiTs without threatening the entire domestic installation market. One way would be to maintain a very solid tariff for the smallest domestic installations, up to 4kW. This would continue to support new activity in the domestic PV market. Small domestic installations can help smaller homeowners and still sustain thousands of green jobs.
‘PV installers will not survive by knowing how many PV units have been installed already – they need to know that there is new work out there that they can go out and win. To allow the sector to flourish, customers still need a clear, compelling price signal from FiTs. The government needs to be very careful and it should consider the net cost of throwing the domestic PV marketplace into turmoil.’