The BBC has reported that Dundee council may have to scrap its plan to install solar panels on all suitable council-owned properties.
A report submitted to Dundee City Council’s Policy and Resources Committee has confirmed that two of the three shortlisted companies have withdrawn from the deal in light of the recent cut to the feed-in tariff rates afforded to solar PV.
The Local Government Association (LGA) recently warned the Government that thousands of fuel-poor families living in social housing are facing steeper electricity bills as a result of cuts to the feed-in tariff, which has forced councils to abandon solar schemes in their droves.
The Government’s proposed cuts to the feed-in tariff where enacted on December 12. However, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is holding a full consultation into the proposed changes, due to close on December 23. The LGA suggested that the pace of the feed-in tariff change has put councils at financial risk, “in the order of millions.”
It is estimated that installing solar panels on social housing would have saved approximately £190 a year off the fuel bill of an average household. Dundee City Council was hopeful of installing over 1,000 systems on council houses.
Dundee City Council Finance Spokesman, Willie Sawers, told the BBC: “If this scheme had gone ahead, our tenants would have saved £100,000 in energy costs which would have helped reduce levels of fuel poverty in the city.
“The City Council would have benefited directly by saving on its annual electricity bill which would have helped towards achieving our council tax freeze.”
On December 20 and 21 an urgent hearing of a High Court challenge over Government plans to cut the solar feed-in tariff will take place.