The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has confirmed that the recent feed-in tariff rates (FiT) announced will only apply for the period 1 May, 2013 to 1 July, 2013 instead of the expected 1 May, 2013 to 1 August, 2013.

Speaking to Solar Power Portal, a DECC spokesperson said: “This is an administrative change, to bring degression quarters in line with FiTS scheme quarters. So will be three monthly periods again from 1 July.”

But confusion was rife within industry when Ofgem published the latest FiT rates with the shorter timeframe. However, DECC’s confirmation will now be seen as a major blow to many in the domestic sector, as the seasonal demand of solar leads to a peak in demand during the summer months. DECC’s decision to enforce a shorter reference period during a period of peak demand might adversely impact on the sector’s performance which had already been struggling to rebound from a series of damaging FiT cuts.

The news also means that the UK solar industry will have one less month of tariff stability for <50kW installations, which are due to automatically degress on the next reference date, now 1 July not August 1. 

A DECC spokesperson said that in order to determine the FiT rates for the next three month period (1 July – 1 September), the department will look at whether the number of installations reaches two thirds of the degression trigger.