The Liberal Democrat and Conservative parties have both pledged to boost the financial support available to small-scale renewable electricity generators under the clean-energy cashback scheme, it emerged today (April 28).

The three main parties were asked whether they planned to improve the Feed-in Tariff scheme, which guarantees payments for renewable electricity generated from small-scale systems such as wind turbines and solar panels, by environmental campaign group Friends of the Earth.

In response, the Liberal Democrats promised £400 cash for anyone who installs micro-generation technologies and said tariff payments should be high enough to enable the investment to pay for itself in ten years. This would equate to 10%, higher than the current rate of 5%-8%.

Simon Hughes, Liberal Democrat energy spokesman, said: “Liberal Democrats in government will make much greater efforts to encourage microgeneration in the UK.

“We will increase the feed-in tariff to provide a 10% return on investment. We have also set out an eco-cashback scheme for the first year of government that will allow people to apply for £400 if they opt for microgeneration.

The Conservatives meanwhile promised to increase the maximum size of projects eligible for feed-in tariff payments to 10MW to encourage communities to invest in, and benefit from, renewable energy.

They also pledged to reverse the current situation where those pioneers who have already installed renewable electricity systems are excluded from the full tariff payments, giving owners the option of repaying any original grants in return for inclusion in the FiT scheme.