Officer Decisions

Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment - Dave Black

Summary of Matter or Issue Requiring Decision:

Devon County Council (DCC) officer response to the Department of Energy and Climate Change ‘Consultation on a Review of the Feed-in Tariffs Scheme’.

Decision Taken:

An officer response has been submitted to the Department of Energy and Climate Change stating that it is believed the proposed, immediate cuts to the FiT tariff rates are too steep. Instead a shallower trajectory of degression from 2016 with a more rapid degression towards 2019 would enable the industry to adapt and prepare for a subsidy-free industry while achieving the same outcomes for consumers’ bills and the Levy Control Framework.

Furthermore, community-owned schemes should receive more favourable FiT rates to encourage this fledgling sector that has significant scope to strengthen local economies and provide income for further local projects.

Summary of Reason(s) for Decision Taken:

The government is right to target a subsidy-free renewable energy sector, however the proposed cut in support is too fast and is likely to be very detrimental to the industry. If we are to reach a stage where subsidy-free renewable energy is a reality then a more steady reduction in support is necessary. With a more gradual reduction in support it would be possible to deliver subsidy-free renewable energy during this Parliament. Once subsidy-free, no contribution will be required from consumers’ energy bills and the potential to create thousands of new jobs and businesses will have been secured. This is in contrast to the DECC proposals that will save just £6 per year from the average consumer’s bill by 2019.

Summary of Alternatives or Options considered and rejected:
The alternative is to support DECC’s proposed rapid reduction of FiT rates from January 2016, which for the reasons explained above would be detrimental to the 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 October 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