There was no announcement from the Chancellor in the UK budget to drop business rate hikes of up to 800% on organisations using their own rooftop solar.
The Solar Trade Association is concerned for 44,000 solar microgenerators, who are currently exempt from business rates, and who face a nasty shock from April 2017.
The tax hike comes as rooftop solar deployment is at a six year low. The STA has been pressing Government for nine months to drop the unfair rate hike, which does not reflect the increased rental value of properties. Chief Executive Paul Barwell said;
“We are dismayed that responsible organisations that use their own rooftop solar are still facing an extreme business rate rise of up to 800% from April.
“Some fossil fuel technologies are already exempt from business rates, and the Chancellor has again taken special care of oil and gas. It is surprising that the Treasury’s tax policies tend to yesterday’s technologies while putting clean, modern solar at a competitive disadvantage.”
Meanwhile, there was further disappointment that the long term price signals investors need through the Carbon Floor Price has been deferred to Autumn.
Moreover, there was nothing in the Treasury announcement on replacing the LCF that gives desperately needed clarity to solar power which has been shut out from competitive access to wholesale markets.
The UK’s cheapest and most popular source of clean energy – solar – has been shut out of auctioning, meaning consumers pay more for decarbonisation and the immense competitive pressure that solar has provided has been removed from other technologies.