Exeter-based solar installer, SunGift Energy has called on the government to maintain its solar subsidy commitments in the wake of persistent rumours that the government is rethinking green subsidies.

Gabriel Wondrausch, founder of SunGift Energy, believes that the feed-in tariff as it currently stands is working and has been “extremely successful in driving down the cost of solar”.

“What’s more, we’re extremely close to reaching the point at which renewable electricity costs as little to generate as electricity from fossil fuels, so it’s imperative that we don’t take a backwards step.”

Despite a number of national papers reporting cabinet-level briefings which have warned of a “big reset” for green subsidies, no official news has been forthcoming from the government, with the Department of Energy and Climate Change failing to respond to a number of comment requests from Solar Power Portal.

The lack of information around the rumoured cuts is creating a cloud of uncertainty across the UK solar sector. Wondrausch is particularly worried that any potential cuts to subsidies could threaten the skill base of the industry. He explained: “This would be a huge waste, costing the UK billions and losing our position as a world solar expert.

“In recent years the capacity-driven feed-in tariff mechanism gave us the security we needed, but any big changes now could be devastating. This momentum has been gained over a period of four years and it’s crucial that we don’t allow this to slow down. It’s is the only way that we can continue to reduce energy users’ reliance on fossil fuels, ensure that bills remain low in the future, and secure the UK’s energy future.”

Wondrausch also rejected the idea that any cuts to solar subsidies would be helping reduce energy bills for the UK. He said: “I’m fully in favour of keeping energy bills as low as possible, but the focus must be on driving down cost in the long term, not resorting to a knee-jerk reaction that simply reduces them in the short term.

“The perception is that renewable energy subsidies take up a huge proportion of energy bills,” Wondrausch added, “but the truth is that the Levy Control Framework makes up just 3% of the average UK energy bill. Considering how much the price of fossil fuels are expected to rise over coming years (and the much higher subsidies for nuclear energy), 3% is a comparatively small amount. It’s therefore essential that we continue to encourage renewable energy so that householders can negate the effects of further fuel-cost rises in the future.

“Perhaps even more distressing, however, is the government’s revelations in its latest Energy Bill, where DECC said that new measures would ‘help reduce our reliance on foreign imports and support jobs and growth by reinvigorating our domestic oil and gas industry.’  This sends an extremely confusing and worrying message that the government is happy to invest once again in fossil fuels.”

The secretary of state for energy and climate change, Amber Rudd outlined the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s priorities and objectives for this year on Tuesday to the Energy and Climate Change Committee in Westminster.