Officer Decisions

Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment - Dave Black Head of Planning, Transportation & Environment

Summary of Matter or Issue Requiring Decision:

Devon County Council officer response to the Department of Energy and Climate Change ‘Consultation on Changes to Feed-in Tariff Accreditation’.

Decision Taken:

Officer response submitted to the Department of Energy and Climate Change stating that Devon County Council (DCC) does not believe the removal of pre-accreditation is appropriate for community projects, as this will undermine the development of community-based renewable schemes and the implementation of the commendable objectives of DECC’s Community Energy Strategy which DCC has been actively supporting through its Community Energy Accelerator project.

Summary of Reason(s) for Decision Taken:

Over the past four years DCC has supported community energy groups to pursue community-owned renewable energy projects. These types of project keep money in the Devon economy, provide a community fund to take forward other, local priorities and reinvigorate communities by bringing people together with a common purpose. DCC’s latest support programme has involved the provision of small, start-up grants to enable local groups to organise themselves to be in a position to apply for DECC’s Rural or Urban Community Energy Funds.

The enthusiasm, energy and dedication of volunteers in community energy groups is likely to wane following the removal of pre-accreditation while they wait to see if DECC reintroduces pre-accreditation in the future; the significant extent of grass-roots action DECC has successfully instigated through its Community Energy Strategy and RCEF and UCEF funds could be completely undermined.

Summary of Alternatives or Options considered and rejected:

The alternative is to support DECC’s intention to remove the facility to pre-accredit FiT rates, which for the reasons explained above would be detrimental to the community energy sector.

Details of any conflict of interest and dispensation granted to the Officer taking the decision or by any Member of the Council in delegating responsibility for any specific express delegation:

The consultation response was prepared on behalf of the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment by the Principal Environmental Policy Officer who regularly volunteers with Exeter Community Energy.

Contact for enquiries/further information: Doug Eltham
Decision Date: 19 August 2015

A copy of this decision and any supporting documentation considered by the Officer taking this decision may also be made available or inspection by the public at the Council’s Offices or posted upon payment of any copying and postage charges. Any member of the public wishing to take up either of these options is asked to please ring 01392 382888 or email: members.services@devon.gov.uk