There are winners and losers.
Predictably, I am one of the losers, like many of us that use this site. I just didn't realise how bad though.
I get 9.2 pence per unit as a ROC payment at present, plus 5 pence per unit for those exported. The market sets the ROC price so can go up or down, just as the price for exported units goes up or down. This has worked OK for me, allowing the amount I make in cash terms to more or less cover the amount it costs in electricity to run my home relative to current energy prices.
As of April this year, this all changes. The Government have stepped in and decided that small and microgenerators' ROCS will become FITS, and that small and microgenerators that existed under the ROCS scheme before July 2009 will get 9 pence per unit generated, and 3 pence per unit exported. This will be linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) and will apply until 2027.
This is a loss in real terms to me. Electricity prices will rise way beyond the RPI, so the gap between the price per imported unit and the fixed price per exported unit will increase rapidly.
I have the option to sell exported units on the free market, but that is realistically never going to happen as the amounts are too small.
So that is the first area in which I lose out under the new FITS.
Next, under the new FITS scheme, you are only eligible if your generation comes from a generator registered under the old ROCS scheme, which automatically transfers across, or if you have a new system registered under the FITS scheme since July 2009. Second hand or refurbished equipment is not eligible under the scheme. So, if I want to move house and take my turbine with me, I can't. If the new buyer doesn't want the turbine, then it is only fit for parts or scrap. This is despite it being identical in every way to a brand new one. One asset that cost £22,500 reduced to nothing
If the buyer of your home would like a turbine, however, the suggestion of the Government is that when you move, you can negotiate a fair market price for the system. The buyer has got you over a barrel though, as no matter what, you can't take it with you, so that £22,500 system can be got for next to nothing. The same will be true of new systems yet to be installed that qualify under the new FITS rates.
The winners are those who have installed since July 2009. The example I can give is for a wind turbine of between 1.5 and 15 Kw/h. For the first two years of FITS you will get 26.7 pence for every unit exported. I made 15000 units last year, which gives a figure of £4005. This will run at the same rate for 20 years giving a return of £80000.Tax Free. (If you are wondering whether to get a turbine, this figure should sway you). I bought my turbine too soon though so won't get that.
So, there you go. If you are one of the losers, my commiserations, one of the winners, my congratulations. It just seems insane that two identical systems, operating side by side can be so far apart financially.
I didn't buy a turbine to make money, as will be the case for many people now, and who can blame them? I bought a turbine based on calculations made using the figures available at the time regarding ROCS and exported energy prices. The idea was that the amount of money in would balance the amount out, including annual serviceing charges, plus a bit put aside for maintenance. I am not wealthy, neither is my wife. We have a combined income of about £35000 before tax, so our turbine was a hugely expensive investment, as I expect is the case for most of the rest of us with microgeneration systems. This investment is not so good now, thanks to flawed thinking by the government on what is good for us as a FITS rate.
Also, my wife was hoping for a conservatory and a new kitchen not a wind turbine. (she is still waiting, poor thing, and probably will be for some time yet).
Sorry for the length of this rant, and maybe I am wrong and things are not so bad as painted by me, but I don't think I am wrong on this one.
It's just depressing to be treated this way when you were encourages all the way by the Government to do your bit and cut carbon emissions, get involved and make a difference, only to now be told that what you signed up for has changed and it's now, "New customers Only!."
I didn't need much persuading I suppose as my main aim was to find a less polluting heating system than the oil system we have, which is now hardly ever needed and will go when we have saved enough for a heat pump. I am also an ex Met Office weather man so need no convincing that global warming is real. I probably wouldn't have got my turbine if I had known that I would have to get by on the rates being imposed on me now.
Any body know any loopholes that can get me on to the new FITS rates? If I scrapped my old turbine, wait a year and then buy a new one will that be allowed. Not very green, but still financially profitable.
It's not easy being Green.
Rant over for all of you on this site, but I intend to pursue this one through political channels.