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Feed in Tariff - Are RSLs running out of time?

Feed in Tariff - Are RSLs running out of time?

Although the deadlines for the Feed in Tariff in March 2012 and the Community Energy Savings Programme (CESP) in December 2012 seem a long way away, are RSLs running out of time? Housing Associations would benefit from thinking about it now due to the lengthy lead in time. This is due to the number of parties currently involved:

  • All systems installed need to be commissioned by approved suppliers
  • The works (and the carbon saving properties) must be completed before these dates - not merely committed
  • Utility companies - only on completion of the first two points can funding potentially be accessed.

Will there be a further schemes?

  • Although there has been talk of a CESP (2) the benefits of this even if it becomes a reality are unknown
  • The Feed in Tariff has been identified by pension funds and German investors as a worthwhile long term investment, so it is unlikely that any successor will be as lavish
  • It would seem that utility companies are desperate for carbon credits (the penalties for missing their targets are potentially huge) and if pension funds are targeting energy schemes for investment then they must reckon there is sufficient return as pension funds are not known for their generosity

What's the benefit for RSLs?
RSLs have loads of roofspace so if there is money in the bank (or the ability to borrow) and it is not needed for the next 7 - 8 years, it might be worthwhile investing in PV panels or if there is no money available, let somebody else raise the cash and RSLs simply rent the space. Both options give tenants access to cheap electricity which assists in fuel poverty.

Don't be left behind 
Neither the Feed in Tariff or the Community Energy Savings Programme are the solution to a lack of development funding for social rented housing but many RSLs are using money from one pot to subsidise another, so don't be left behind.

There is still time to take advantage of these schemes. We have already been involved in a number of these projects and are well placed to offer you specific advice in relation to your circumstances, so don't hesitate to get in touch if you want more information.

What do you think of the current schemes? Let us know via the comments below.

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Written by : Super User