Politicians back motion against cuts to subsidies for solar power panels

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DONCASTER councillors have passed a motion raising concerns over cuts to subsidies paid to people who install solar panels on their homes.

Labour Coun Rachel Hodson put forward a motion calling on Doncaster Council to ask the Government to rethink their plans to reduce the feed-in tariff on solar energy which will she fears will see a massive drop in the installation of solar panels on private and social housing.

She said: “The Government’s plans will exclude nearly nine out of 10 families, and everyone in social housing, from having solar power. It could also hit the families in our borough who have already installed solar, but might not meet the Government’s six-week registration deadline.”

The motion was supported by councillors from across the parties including the cabinet member Coun Mark Thompson, who said he had written to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change to tell them that because of the change in the payments the council would have to cancel its scheme to install panels on local authority housing.

The council confirmed last month it was shelving proposals which would have seen 550 houses received solar panels.

The move followed the announcement the Government was looking to cut the feed in tariff, the fee paid to owners for power sold on to the national grid, from 43p per kilowatt hour to 21p per kilowatt hour.

Coun Thompson said at the time it would take twice as long to pay off the £675,000 it planned to spend on the solar panels at the new rates.

The motion stated: “Council believes that solar power gives families greater control over their energy bills and will help the UK meet our renewable energy targets and reduce our carbon emissions.”

It added the council regretted the plans to cut the feed in tariffs.