In July 2018 the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published a consultation in which it states its intention to close the Solar Panel FIT (Feed in Tariffs) scheme to new applicants from 1 April 2019. If these proposals are implemented without amendments then, from 1 April 2019, householders installing solar PV systems on homes will receive no electricity generation or export payments on their solar systems.
The phasing out of payments for solar electricity generation have been anticipated for some time. However the BEIS plan to also remove export payments, without announcing a replacement scheme at the same time is seen as a set back to damaging to the solar industry and inconsistent with meeting carbon reduction targets. The Chair of the Select Committee for BEIS pointed out on 9 October 2018 that “closing the export tariff would appear to leave consumers – householders, small businesses and community organisations – who use technologies such as solar panels as the only generators not paid for the power they feed into the electricity network….. It risks resulting in small generators subsidising the big players in the power industry, if their electricity is provided to the network for free.”
As of late November 2018, no response has been been received from BEIS on its consultation which means that homeowners will have to assess an investment in solar panels exclusively on self-consumption of electricity and assume that any surplus solar electricity they export to the grid is provided free of charge.