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Government loses solar appeal (again)

Date added: 28 March 2012

The government has lost another appeal in its battle to cut subsidies for solar panels.

This means that anyone who registered and installed solar panels before March 2 will continue to receive the higher feed-in tariff, worth 43.3p per kilowatt hour (kWh), for the next 25 years.

The Supreme Court followed the High Court in deciding that the government's attempt to cut solar subsidies to 21p per kWh before an official consultation ended was unlawful.

Home owners who finish installing panels between March 3 and March 31 will be given the old rate for a few days and will then be switched to the lower rate in April.

Last year the Department for Energy and Climate Change tried to halve the solar tariff for any household that registered its panels after December 12 2011, two weeks before a consultation on solar tariffs finished.

A new cut-off of March 3 was put in place, but the government had tried to get that date reversed to December 12.

The Supreme Court is the UK’s highest court – so its decision spells the end of the government's attempt to cut subsidies retrospectively.

Feed in tariff will cut even further to 13.6p per kWh from 1st July 2012.