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Orpington businessman slams FiT clean energy plans

Business partners Aaron Johnson  and Andrew Dedman

Business partners Aaron Johnson and Andrew Dedman

Archant

A businessman has slammed government plans to cut householder incentives for clean energy, claiming thousands will be made redundant, including him.

Andrew Dedman, of Woodhead Drive, Orpington, recently started his solar panel installation company Luxcoenergy with two friends.

But the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced last week it proposes to halve the payments made to people who create their own green energy powered by renewable sources such as solar and wind. These are known as Feed in Tariffs (FiTs).

The scheme has been popular nationally and boosted the energy industry.

Mr Dedman said: “This has ruined our business before it has got off the ground and will make thousands redundant.

“It has put the UK’s commitment to climate change in jeopardy and made us committed to the unpredictable availability of fossil fuels in the future.”

Mr Dedman had been expecting the government to reduce the FiTs in April next year, as it had previously announced, and had tailored his business plan accordingly.

In its consultation, the government said it would halve the level of payments for any installations completed after December 12 but this cut-off point is two weeks before consultation ends.

Environmental charity Friends of the Earth claims this is unlawful and said it would sue the government if it fast-tracks cutting the FiT before the consultation finishes.

Mr Dedman added: “We expected the cut but the size of it is staggering. The worst of it is the sheer lunacy of hacking an entire industry’s legs off with six weeks notice and the utter arrogance of a consultation that ends after the proposed changes take place.

Mr Dedman has written to Orpington MP Jo Johnson to ask for his help.

A DECC spokesman said: “We’re consulting on proposed new tariffs for a reason – to protect consumers from footing the bill for excessive subsidies.”

“We have received two letters indicating an intention to start legal proceedings against the department on certain aspects of the current consultation and we will be responding to those letters in due course.”

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