Monday, 15 February 2010

Where has everybody gone?

Where has everybody gone?

I must confess as an industry outsider that I'd been getting pretty excited about the coming of the Feed-in tariffs announcement last week and what that would mean by way of savings for homeowners who installed solar panels etc on their property.

I looked forward to seeing how much more quickly the payback period would be with the tariffs and I looked forward to seeing installation companies busily competing for the flood of orders with the usual enticing discounts.

So what's gone wrong? I don't see any of the above happening at all.

Firstly, there's been a lot of online comments made about how unexciting the announced tariffs actually were, with many industry folks lamenting that they're simply not going to attract homeowners to take up the typical installation costs.

Secondly, there doesn't seem to have been a lot of positive press about the merits of such a scheme at all. Perhaps the Government are waiting for the sun to shine?

It may be that the UK is a different market-place to the other european countries that have run similar tariff schemes with great success. Perhaps it takes more to get us British excited?

Whilst many were obviously hoping for bigger and better figures with regards what the tariffs are going to mean for your pocket, the truth of the matter is that, whilst this is still early days for the announcement, I don't see neighbours rushing out to join the scheme.

In fact - outside of the solar energy blogging and tweeting spheres, I haven't heard anyone else mention it at all. When I've introduced the subject into everyday conversations, I'm regarded with the same blank look as if I'm an eco-warrior (which I'm not).

There's obviously a shortage of public awareness - but who should address it? The Government, the Solar industry or even the power generators?

I await my leaflet through the door. I just hope it doesn't get lost like my swine flu leaflet.

photo credit: mrs logic

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