The tiny village of Garrigill, Cumbria, which houses less than 200 residents, has embraced solar technology, with at least half a dozen residents installing a solar PV system from Eco Environments. Other residents of the progressive hamlet and potentially even the village hall are expected to go ahead with installations next year.

One Garrigill resident, Fiona Gifford, who has had a 12-panel system fitted, said: “A few of us had been talking about having solar panels installed for a while, as soon as the Government announced it was cutting the feed-in tariff subsidies available, we decided we had better get a move on. With electricity prices only set to go up, installing solar panels made total sense.

“Although we have been able to get our panels installed before the deadline, we believe the Government should have allowed a longer consultation period. The villagers felt so angry we wrote to our local MP Rory Stewart to protest.”

David Hunt, a Director with Eco Environments, said: “For a village as small as Garrigill, the interest and uptake has been phenomenal. The village may even be Britain’s solar panel capital!

“We have worked round-the-clock to ensure that all of the current installations are up and running before December 12, but we are hopeful that as the word spreads, more of the villagers will want to install their own arrays next year.”

Eco Environments, which has its head office in Liverpool and regional offices across the UK, took three months worth of orders in just two weeks following the news that the cuts would kick-in from December 12.

Hunt remained positive about the UK solar industry despite the proposed cuts, stating: “While the current subsidies are incredibly attractive, the post-December 12 tariff levels are still excellent, especially when allied to the anticipated reduction in the cost of the panels.”

During the coming months Eco Environments is looking to open further offices in the south of England, with staff numbers set to rise to approximately 60 before the end of the current financial year.