The secretary of state for energy and climate change, Amber Rudd has sought to defend the Conservative’s green credentials after making a series of damaging changes to green support schemes.

Writing for BusinessGreen, Rudd explained that the recent feed-in tariff review was inline with its agreement with the EU to evaluate the public support system every three years. She noted: “Such a review would have taken place with any new government, even if there was no limit on how much we were spending overall on subsidies”.

However, the Tories have sought to aggressively curtail spending under the levy control framework (LCF) cap which supports renewable schemes such as the feed-in tariff and renewable obligation. As a result, the Department of Energy and Climate Change published proposals to cut the feed-in tariff rate for solar PV by almost 90% from 1 January 2016.

Rudd sought to justify the extent of the proposed cuts by arguing that the government must limit the impact of renewable support on people’s bills. She wrote: “Renewable energy and other low carbon technologies will only be taken up at the scale we need to address global climate change if costs are kept under control. This is as much a part of sustainability as subsidies.”

DECC’s accompanying impact assessment for the feed-in tariff cuts are estimated to reduce the average household energy bill by £6 in 2020/21.

In related news, the chairman of the British Photovoltaic Association (BPVA), Reza Shaybani has published his account of a private meeting with Amber Rudd to discuss the potential fallout of the feed-in tariff proposals for the sector.

Shaybani claims that Rudd confirmed that the impact of the proposals on employment in the sector had not been taken into account, something that was missing from the government’s impact assessment despite its regular inclusion in other consultations of this nature.

The chairman of the solar association continued by suggesting that the proposed feed-in tariff changes undermine the Conservatives’ claim to support businesses and SMEs as well as run the ‘greenest government ever’. Shaybani claims that Rudd reiterated the government’s claim to be the greenest government ever, suggesting that it was unfair for the sector to use the feed-in tariff review as proof that the government is not being green.