Why FITs cuts are good for the solar industry
There's been a lot of discussion FITs cuts and the potential impact on consumers, but Sunny Britain chief executive, Barak Goldstein explains why he believes this is actually a good thing for his business.
Although it's disappointing for our customers that the Government has decided to reduce the amount that they'll pay out to consumers who install and use solar panels, we see this as a huge opportunity for our business.
However, Sunny Britain offers a unique proposition to allow UK consumers to purchase solar panels with up to 50% off the equipment and installation cost by teaming up local residents into one big buying group. This means that even with the reduction in FIT tariffs, our customers will still get returns of around 10-12% year-on-year. Compared to other investment products currently available, solar panels from Sunny Britain are still a fantastic - and guaranteed - investment goldmine.
However, we do believe that this news will have a massive impact on the solar panel provider market. I don't believe that companies can continue to offer the rent-a-roof panels whereby they offer consumers free solar panels in return for taking the FIT tariffs for 25 years.
Although this may have been lucrative for companies in the past, these changes from the government will make this model less attractive. And at Sunny Britain, we believe that this is a good thing for the industry.
There has long been reports of cowboy providers signing people up to these rent-a-roof schemes and then not coming through with the goods, so these changes should hopefully put an end to these issues.
Equally, there are a number of solar panel providers out there who charge way-above market rates for their solar panels.
The Energy Savings Trust themselves estimate that the average cost of a 2.9kW system will cost £11,500 - that's nearly double what Sunny Britain charges for the same solar system!
As the returns are reduced by the government, we believe that consumers will become even more savvy about the cost of their solar panels, and therefore companies that are currently ripping off consumers will either have to reduce their costs, or be put out of business.
For consumers, this can only be a good thing as they can get the advantages of solar panels for a reduced initial investment, which will offset the reduction in the longer-term returns from FIT tariffs.
For too long solar power has been mis-sold by cowboy companies, and this shake-up should hopefully make for a much more streamlined industry with only trusted companies who offer serious value for money to consumers will continue to prosper.
Obviously, we'd love for our customers to continue to get great returns from their solar panels, and we're disappointed that the government is reducing the FIT tariffs.
However, from a business perspective, we see this as a massive opportunity for Sunny Britain. We're already offering the best value solar panels in the UK, and we allow our customers to take home all the energy savings and financial returns from their solar system.
We're still seeing desire from potential customers with huge volumes of calls to our sales team each day.
Many of these customers are still planning on going ahead with their solar power installation even post December 12th as they can appreciate the many advantages of solar panels with Sunny Britain.
We believe that solar power is definitely the future to help consumers reduce their carbon footprint, reduce costs on increasing energy bills, and continue to secure a return on their investment, despite these changes."
Barak Goldstein is an international expert in the power generation industry having created a successful portfolio of renewables projects - 200MW installed or financed ($800M) in Germany, Italy, Israel and Spain. Before launching Sunny Britain, Barak was founder and managing partner at Clean Capital and Investment Manager at the Arison Group.