Conservatives line up to slam Government's solar cuts

Lise Masson

13 November 2015

Pressure is mounting on the Government to save rooftop solar, with an increasing number of Conservatives leading the call for action.

And with a decision due in early December it's essential as many people as possible put pressure on their MP to save solar

Ask your MP to save solar

Back in August, the Government unveiled a proposal to review – and essentially bring to an end – support for rooftop solar through the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT).

Now the Government’s plans to cut the FiT by nearly 90% have come under fire from all sides. MPs from across the political divide are lining up to criticise these deeply unhelpful cuts.

Cross-party opposition

Labour has criticised the cuts as “short-sighted” and said they would “plunge the industry into crisis”.

The Green Party deplored the fact that “the renewables sector does not have at least the same degree of support and certainty that the Government is providing for new nuclear power stations and fracking.”

The SNP strongly opposed the Government’s cuts as Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing denounced “another attack on renewables and green energy” and expressed his concern on “such an anti-business approach on the issue.”

Conservatives join in

Crucially, a growing number of Conservative MPs have stepped up to slam the Government’s plans. So far at least 8 have let it be known that they are not happy.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson (pictured) said he’s “very concerned”.

It would be wrong if the cut in the feed-in tariff actually stops people from investing in solar, because clearly it has many, many attractions

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

Caroline Nokes, MP for Romsey and Southampton North, made her views clear in a letter to a constituent. She called the proposed cuts a “bitter blow to the solar industry”.

Michelle Donelan, MP for Chippenham, commented "a drop of up to 87% in subsidies overnight is more than I suspect the industry can bear".

Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds, said “It sends a negative message to investors in the green economy”

Stephen Hammond, MP for Wimbledon, thought that the plans “could undo all the good work done and kill the industry”.

And David Warburton, MP for Somerton and Frome, explained why he is “battling ministers at the Department for Energy and Climate Change”.

This would be a disaster for community energy projects . . . which are putting power – literally – in the hands of local people

David Warburton, MP for Somerton and Frome

Pressure builds

The Government is beginning to feel the heat. More than 50,000 people responded to the Government’s consultation. Over 30,000 people have written to their MPs calling for action.

Solar installers from across the country have been to see their MPs to tell them their personal stories – and that the consequences will be disastrous for them if this goes ahead.

We hope the Government is beginning to listen. Ministers have said that they’re "open-minded" about the cuts – a hint that there’s room for manoeuvre.

It’s nearly crunch time. The Government is mulling this over right now. It'll be making a decision by early December.

Ask your MP to save solar

It’s crucial that we keep up the pressure for a few more weeks and show that we won’t allow these cuts to undermine the solar industry.

Take action today and ask your MP to oppose these reckless cuts.

boris, johnson, feed, tariff