You’re seeing a lot of solar panels around these days, right? Did you know you were subsidising them? No, me neither. We all presumed the government was.
Robin Scattergood, who runs J Scattergood & Son in Leicester, agreed a new price on his energy contract with Scottish and Southern Electric (SSE). Then he got a letter a couple of weeks later telling him that SSE was no longer including its Feed-in-Tariffs (FiTs) in its total bill. Instead, it would be showing it as a separate item from April 1, like VAT, in a move to be ‘more transparent’ about its charges.
Eh what? asked Robin. He doesn’t have anything, by the way, that would benefit from the government’s FiT scheme which repays consumers who make renewable energy moves, such as fitting solar panels and selling the harnessed energy back to the National Grid.
Instead, turns out he is funding it. SSE has written to him saying that there’s been a bigger uptake (ten-fold increase in the past year) than expected and they can no longer afford it so, as per their terms and conditions, they are going to levy a charge on him.
Robin has worked out, as best guesstimate, it will cost him an extra £300/400 a year.
Questions and answers: Q. Is it only businesses being stuck with this extra levy? A. In the end it will be passed on to all taxpayers.
Q. Why isn’t the government funding this, as it has shouted about for the past two years? A. Smoke and mirrors.
Q. Is SSE the only energy firm doing this? A. No, don’t be daft.
I suggest you all scrutinise your energy bills and get breakdowns. Then complain to Ofgem and to your MPs. Mass protest time, guys.