House of Commons
XX September 2015
Dear XX MP,
RE: Feed-in Tariff Review Threatens Future of Community Renewable Energy
I write on behalf of [INSERT COMMUNITY GROUP NAME] based in your constituency to raise our concerns about the government’s proposed reform of the Feed-in Tariff (FIT), which could put community renewable energy projects at risk and lead to the loss of jobs and investment opportunities in the local area.
I urge you to write to Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, to raise these concerns and to call for a more gradual reform of the scheme.
Because of the FIT, communities up and down the country had the opportunity to harness their own natural energy resources for local benefit. Community energy has helped to reduce and localise energy spend, tackle fuel poverty and generate an income to re-invest in the area.
[INSERT ONE/TWO SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT YOUR COMMUNITY PROJECT AND THE BENEFITS (OR PLANNED BENEFITS) IT BRINGS TO THE LOCAL AREA
CLOSE THE PARAGRAPH WITH ONE OF THE FOLLOWING SENTENCES
- None of what we have achieved would have been possible without renewable energy support systems, such as the FIT.
Our aim is develop a energy future, with more community benefits, lower energy bills and greater independence for the local area. The proposed changes to the FIT will seriously undermine our efforts.
The FIT has been crucial in building a viable business model for community renewable projects. Many of these projects are entirely run by volunteers, who have been working for years to raise finance and overcome complex policy barriers, but are now facing the prospect that their schemes are no longer viable.
The government argues that cuts in renewable energy subsidies are necessary to deliver value for money to the consumer. However, the average household will save only £6 per year on its energy bill by 2020/2021 as a direct result of the proposals – equivalent to 0.4 per cent of the average £1,369 family dual fuel bill. In return, the community renewable energy sector will be devastated, and the benefits the FIT brings in terms of offsetting energy bills and generating an local revenue stream will disappear. The government’s own Impact Assessment notes that jobs will also be lost.
The government is right to target a subsidy-free renewable energy sector. However, the proposed 87 per cent cut in support for small-scale renewable energy, combined with strict caps on deployment, is destructive. If we are to reach a stage where subsidy-free renewable energy is a reality then a more steady reduction in support is necessary.
A more sustainable reform of the FIT will make it possible to deliver subsidy-free renewable energy during the current Parliament. Once subsidy free no further costs will be added to consumers’ energy bills – however the opportunity for communities like ours to generate its own energy and deliver a range of social and economic benefits will be secured.
I urge you to write to the Secretary of State to ensure the FIT is reformed to deliver affordable energy and a subsidy-free renewable energy sector without jeopardising the future of community energy projects like those in your constituency.
I would like to take this opportunity to ask you to meet with us discuss how the government’s proposals could impact the local area.
I look forward to hearing from you.