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Community energy

Save our solar – make our community voice heard

On August 27th, the Government announced a full-scale review of the Feed-in Tariff, or FiT, scheme that supports renewable technologies in the UK and has allowed community energy to flourish. The proposal is to dramatically cut the FiT, introduce a more stringent degression mechanism and deployment caps, and move towards the phased closure of the scheme in 2018–19. The consultation proposes to put the scheme on an “affordable and sustainable footing” and make cuts to the FiT of up to 87% for solar, 31% for hydro and 67% for wind. These changes would be introduced as early as January 2016. This proposed policy change obviously sent shockwaves through the sector threatening not only thousands of jobs but the whole future of renewables and community energy in the UK.

NGOs and Community Energy Groups are urging the public to respond to the consultation

Take action
The Government is seeking response from the industry, communities and consumers on the proposed changes to the FiT scheme. The consultation is open until 23rd October.

If you care about the future of community energy and renewables in the UK and want to have your say on the proposed cuts to the Feed-in Tariff scheme, there are several ways of getting your voice heard:

• 10:10 #keepfits tool makes it really easy to have your say on the FiT consultation and allows you to have a unique response. And, they have launched a #KeepFits portal on Twitter.

• Friends of the Earth #SaveOurSolar are giving tips on writing a letter to your MP and demonstrations at party political conferences.

Regen SW are organising a national day of action on 16th October urging you to meet with your local MP and express your concern about the proposed changes to the FiT.

Action for Renewables have set up a campaign to lobby your MP and support the FiT scheme.

• There’s an option to petition parliament. It focuses on solar in the title but it does refer to wider renewable energy and is gaining momentum.

Along with a large number of organisations we work with, Harborough Energy is supporting these campaigns and providing evidence on the impact of these proposals to Community Energy England for a combined community energy response. But you can also write to your local MP direct. The more mail bag action MPs get, the more likely they are to do something about it.

Proposed changes to the FiT scheme could have a devastating effect on the community energy and the renewable energy sector as a whole.

As Emma Bridge, CEO of Community Energy England says: “If the Government’s community energy strategy launched in January 2014 is to be worth the paper it is written on, then the Government must retain workable incentives that support the community energy sector.”

Remember you’ve only got until October 23rd to have your say.