The decision marks the end of the ‘feed-in tariff’ (FIT), which pays homeowners with solar panels a set amount for every unit of electricity they generate from them, plus any excess electricity they export back to the grid.
The long-running scheme – launched in 2010 – has proved hugely popular, with around 800,000 homeowners in Britain installing solar panels.
If you already have solar panels, your payments will continue – they’re guaranteed for a 20-year period, or for a total of 25 years if you signed up to the FIT scheme before August 2012.
However, any new systems installed after the 31 March won’t be eligible for any FIT payments – meaning all you’ll get is savings on your energy bill.
But, be warned, if you’re thinking of getting solar panels, you’ll need to move quickly and get them installed and certified before the cut-off date or risk missing out. So if you want solar panels, do it soon – we recommend allowing around two to three months to get it all sorted.
From April, it could take as many as 77 YEARS to recoup your investment, which is a dramatic difference from up to an estimated 25 years under the current FIT scheme.
For more info on whether they’re worth getting now and in the future, see Solar panels – are they worth it?
What does the Government say?
A Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spokesperson said: “The feed-in-tariffs scheme has overachieved on its original objectives, outstripping installation predictions by nearly 100,000 with over 820,000 solar installations producing enough power for two million homes.
“But it’s only right we protect consumers and adjust incentives as costs fall, with solar having fallen by 80%, and we will consult shortly on a future framework for small-scale renewable energy generation.”