Death of the Feed-in-Tariff

The Feed-in-Tariff was first introduced in the UK in April 2010 to act as a financial incentive for homes and businesses to take up renewable energy. Succesful applicants receive a payment for the clean energy they produce receiving a guaranteed fixed price, indexed for inflation for 20 years.

The Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) has been extremely successful at encouraging the take up of renewable energy. Most installations in the UK could not have happened without it.

Unfortunately, the FIT subsidy is set to end in April 2019. As set out by the Government in the 2017 Autumn budget, “there will be no new subsidies for renewables until 2025”.

So what does this mean for the future of renewables in the UK? Thankfully, a dramatic fall in costs since 2010 means that access to solar power is much more affordable than it was. As the costs to store energy using battery power technology decline the time is approaching where there will be no need for subsidies after all, though making this happen by April 2019 will be a challenge.

Battery Storage

As the Feed-In-Tarff subsidy dimishes over the next year, solar power installers will be looking to use battery storage as a way of making new projects work financially. Being able to charge a battery with solar power means the electricity does not need to be consumed at the point of generation, instead it can be used when it’s needed, day or night. This could prove to be just the catalyst needed for wide-scale clean energy deployment.

Combining battery storage with renewable energy will unlock the door to using clean energy sources around the clock putting the final nail in the coffin for fossil fuels in our energy supply. Furthermore, in the same way that solar and wind power costs have plummeted, we can expect the price of battery storage to fall as production techniques improve and economies of scale take hold.

Battery Storage at Dyke Golf club

With falling costs, home storage is seen as increasingly attractive in the UK, particularly to early adopters, being the 850,000 homes with solar panels. The Tesla Powerwall, perhaps the best known energy storage battery, has recently become available in the UK, soon be challenged by a British made Nissan battery. Other British manufacturers are Powervault and Moixa.  There have even been suggestions that electric vehicle batteries can be connected to the grid to sell extra power at peak times, adding another incentive to becoming an EV owner.

The energy market is certainly set for some rapid and profound changes in the years to come. In the last part of our Energy Trends blog series, we’ll look at the emerging popularity of heat pumps and how smart meter will change the way we buy power.

There are few industries changing as quickly and as dramatically as the energy industry.  The movement from centralised to decentralised energy networks is well underway.

An ever depleting supply of fossil fuels and a growing global commitment to tackle the climate crisis has set the stage for a revolution in the way we buy, use, generate and store energy.

Recent years have witnessed an explosion of renewable energy supply, the slow death of coal and improvements in the digitisation of energy management in the workplace and the household. So what trends can we expect over the next twelve months and how will these impact UK consumers?

offshore wind energy trends 2018

The Big Picture

One trend that’s sure to continue is the tumbling cost of renewables. The price of solar power has plumetted by 80% in ten years and is expected to halve again by 2020. Offshore wind has witnessed an even greater fall in price, with costs decreasing by an amazing 50% in just 24 months as knowledge and technology improve.

Speaking at a recent conference on sustainability, the Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Mr Adnan Amin, said:

“the scale and pace of the transformation has accelerated, and this is leading to very significant structural changes to the energy system around the world”.

As costs continue to fall, the economics of renewables become increasingly appealing. Some experts predict global oil demand to peak as soon as 2020 and to decline thereafter, in part due to a rising uptake of electric vehicles.

energy trends 2018 electric vehicles

The Rise and Rise of EVs

Perhaps the greatest shift in energy consumption will come with electric vehicles.

As with other renewable technologies, the costs decline as production ramps up and economies of scale take hold. The number of electric cars on UK roads has risen from 3,500 in 2013 to 125,000 today. This trend is not just because of improved affordability.

A shift in the public’s perception of ‘EV’s,’ plus better consumer choice, an improved network of charge points and reductions in charging time has made them an increasingly appealing alternative to petrol.

In 2018 we can expect to see ever more electric vehicles on our roads, which in turn will stimulate a greater demand for electricity and the further advance of renewables ; a perfect feedback loop!

During 2018, there will be greater exploration of the benefits that EVs can bring to local energy networks in helping balance supply and demand in our communities.

In our next energy trends blog, we’ll take a look at the impacts we can expect from the Government’s smart meter rollout, as well as the game-changing role that battery storage will soon play in the energy industry.


Do you support people who struggle to pay their energy bills?

Do you meet people who live in cold homes?

Then make sure they’re getting the help they deserve.

BHESCo is offering community and voluntary sector workers free training on how to help your clients keep warm over winter.

Our one-hour workshop will look at:

  • How to switch to the cheapest energy tariffs available
  • How to apply for the £140 Warm Home Discount
  • How to sign up to the Priority Services Register
  • How to access ECO funding for free boiler/ insulation upgrades

The workshops will take place in the conference room at the Brighton Eco Centre on the following dates:

Weds 31 Jan from 5-6pm.
Weds 21 Feb from 6-7pm.

Numbers are limited so book your place soon by emailing or calling the BHESCo office on 01273 766671.

We look forward to seeing you soon

Where on Earth has 2017 gone? We’ve been so hard at work switching customers, doing energy surveys, and developing new projects, that this whole year has flashed by in an instant.

With 2018 knocking on the door, we thought what better time to take a look at the last 12 months before previewing the year ahead.

Fuel Poverty

By offering energy advice desk surgeries at foodbanks and community centres around Brighton and Hove, BHESCo have spoken to nearly 500 local residents this year – not bad for just three energy champions! As well as helping people to switch tariff and save an estimated £13,500, we have also encouraged 60 people to apply for the Warm Home Discount, reducing fuel bills by a further £8,400 in our city.

bhesco energy bill review 2017

Energy Saving Service

In 2017, BHESCo’s Energy Saving Service visited 120 homes and businesses, highlighting all the ways that people are using and wasting energy, and working with them to fix it quickly. We have developed an important relationship with London based company RetrofitWorks to help stimulate the energy efficiency market in the South East, and have been working closely with them to deliver free or subsidised energy measures to local homes as part of the Government’s ‘ECO’ programme.

Community Energy Projects

Using money that has been invested by local shareholders, BHESCo has successfully completed 16 new energy projects this year, ranging from new heating for an art gallery to off-grid solar power at a golf course. In total, BHESCo now has 37 operational energy projects in our portfolio, which we estimate reduce carbon emissions by 202 tonnes a year, and annual fuel bills by £50,000.

bhesco communitiy energy project 2017

Awards Season

During the summer, BHESCo was delighted to have been named as a finalist in ‘Green Business’ catagory of the 2017 Brighton & Hove Business Awards (the ‘BAHBAs’). Although we didn’t win, it was an honour to be named as a finalist, and demonstrates our standing as pioneers in the community. In addition, we were invited to become judges ourselves at the prestigious Sussex Life Awards, when we chose the winner of the ‘Green Company of the Year’ at a gala event at Brighton’s Hilton Metropole.

The Best Is Yet To Come…

Before it has even begun we have a whole heap of exciting new projects lined up for 2018. Whilst continuing to develop our ‘Food Waste To Communtiy Energy‘ project, we’ll also be working with a huge variety of different building types and technologies. Just a few of them include:

  • LED lighting at a children’s play centre
  • Solar PV at a coffee house and a renowned art gallery
  • New heating for a village hall
  • Energy saving lighting and windows at two local churches

As always, BHESCo will continue to develop new and innovative solutions to reduce the carbon emissions and energy bills for the local community, driving the transition away from fossil fuels and towards a sustainable future.

Like any enterprise, the more investors we have supporting us, the more good work we can do. Why not consider becoming a shareholder in our social enterprise and join BHESCo today:

The World Bank has decided to support the climate pledges made in the Paris Agreement and take radical steps to decarbonise the world by halting funding for fossil fuel industries after 2019.

This is a significant gesture that will not only help in the mitigation process to limit global warming to 2°C by the end of the century, it also gives a green light for more investment in renewable energy around the world. It might be the breakthrough we have been waiting for as it presents big opportunities to develop promising clean technologies that have suffered from a lack of investment.

World Bank

This will hopefully mean an acceleration of renewable energy projects around the globe, and the creation of many new job opportunities for communities that desperately need them. Furthermore, we will all be able to enjoy such benefits as decreased levels of pollution, cleaner air, and a healthier climate!

Another benefit of this decision is that it could help exciting new technologies become available for everyday use, such as solar panel-integrated windows or efficient energy storage systems.

We must remember that fazing out fossil fuels will not happen overnight. Polluting power stations will continue to operate for as long as they are financially viable and as long as they are supported by tax-breaks and subsidies from governments.

However, the fact that action is being taken by the World Bank, a major influential institution, brings hope that change is coming. This announcement not only sends a clear message that the days are numbered for the fossil fuel industry, but it simultaneously encourages governments and other institutions to follow suit.

Gyorgy Dallos, Greenpeace International climate campaigner, told The Guardian:

“The world’s financial institutions now need to take note and decide whether their financing is going to be part of the problem or the solution.” (2017, 12th Dec)

While there is still uncertainty ahead and a need to keep up the pressure, this news is a positive step and brings fresh wind into the energy sector.  Please support BHESCo in creating our clean energy future by becoming a member.


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