More than 160 leading green businesses including Sainsbury’s, Ikea and Kingfisher have called upon Chancellor Philip Hammond to scrap scheduled tax increases on solar PV.
A letter penned by the Solar Trade Association (STA) and signed by a diverse group of businesses, NGOs, politicians and academics expresses concern for the changes to business rates paid on ‘self-consumed’ solar, due to be enforced in April 2017.
The letter, addressed to Hammond, calls for the reconsideration of these “uneconomic” penalties that the signatories claim could potentially hinder other small business contributions to renewable energy and climate targets.
The taxes on self-consumed solar energy will increase by six to eight times current levels if the change does go ahead in April. With the tax hike affecting those consuming self-generated solar power, the group most likely affected are small businesses with on-site solar solutions. Those groups that consume solar power from a seperate supplier will not be affected by the tax hike, nor will public sector organisations.
In April 2010, a ‘set rateable value’ was applied as the standard business rate for solar. The upcoming revaluation by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) will increase that set rateable value from £8/kW across the board to between £48/kW and £62/kW.
Based on a 100kW rooftop solar system, the total annual bill of using the system for generation and consumption would increase from £397.60 to £2,733.50 per year.
Unbelievably, ministers are planning to hit schools and businesses that invest in solar power with huge tax hikes.
Recent government funding cuts have already triggered thousands of job losses in the UK solar industry. But now, if changes to tax on solar panels are pushed through, experts are warning the solar industry will be left decimated.
Now that we’re a year on since the Paris climate deal was agreed by world leaders, the UK government should be doubling down on investment in renewable ower — not slamming the solar industry with huge, unmanageable tax hikes.
If you agree, please sign the petition to tell the government to urgently rethink the tax hike on solar power in the UK – you can sign here