Comment from guest bloggers
November 30 2011
SME’s at risk as large organisations corner market for energy efficiency measures
Paul Roche, renewables director at Grafton Group plc, comments on the affect of the governments energy efficiency measures on SME installers.
One of the fastest expanding industry sectors - small businesses installing solar PV – will be squeezed out of the market if the government’s plans on ‘energy efficiency measures’ go ahead.
The majority of SME’s who have entered the market are specialist solar PV installers who are not geared up to install EEM’s such as cavity or solid wall insulation. Only larger companies, who can buy direct and offer a total sustainable solution, would be able to cost-effectively operate in the marketplace.
If the model set out in the consultation goes ahead, the industry will no longer be one dominated by SME’s. It will unfairly favour large organisations who can offer a far more diverse package of products to achieve the EEM objectives.
The decision to decrease the percentage return on solar PV to single figures is sensible and expected. However, to base these rates on budget levels calculated as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review, set in November 2010, is out of line with the current economic picture and the government’s current views - to increase investment to boost growth.
Since the decision was taken last year to create a fixed budget FIT, the government has changed its overall strategy and now recognises the need to inject funds into the economy to stimulate business and create jobs. The emerging renewable energy industry is showing sustained growth with companies investing millions to satisfy the growing demand for solar PV microgeneration, creating thousands of new jobs into the bargain.
The sustainable energy industry is one of the few success stories where performance is already going in the right direction. With a little care and foresight, it will naturally gather momentum, stimulating economic growth while contributing to the universal goal of future energy security.
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