Reinstate subsidy for solar power

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Petition
Reinstate Crossroads Women’s subsidy for solar power
As users and supporters of the Crossroads Women’s Centre, we are shocked to learn that Crossroads Women is being denied retroactively its entitlement to the Feed-In Tariff, dismissing the charity’s efforts to protect the environment, and depriving it of much needed funds. We urge the Department of Energy and Climate Change to reinstate the subsidy backdated to the rate payable from December 2011.

please download the petition here


What Crossroads Women say about
being denied the solar power subsidy:
 

Crossroads Women installed solar panels in November 2011 as part of the refurbishment of our new Women’s Centre at 25 Wolsey Mews, NW5 2DX. Like millions of others we aimed to cut down on CO2 emissions which are contributing to climate change and its deadly consequences in Britain and across the world. We were counting on the ‘feed-in tariff’ – the money the government had promised to encourage people to produce green energy.

In 2011 the government unexpectedly announced that it would cut the feed-in tariff by 50% – it had been too successful: too many people had installed solar panels! They lost the subsequent court case, and the ‘feed-in tariff’ was reinstated, though the rate was lowered later on. But in July 2012 we were told by OFGEM (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets), which regulates the scheme, that other rules had also been changed – anyone who had received a ‘public funds’ grant and had their panels installed after 1 October 2011 is no longer entitled to the tariff, and there is no appeal.

Because we have received £6,995 from the Big Lottery Fund to pay for half the installation, we are being denied money we were promised – about £1,350 a year (nearly £34,000 + over 25 years).



 

The grassroots multiracial Crossroads Women’s Centre has been in the London Borough of Camden since 1975, providing a space and support for thousands of low income women and their families. While in the past 35 years people were encouraged to live it up without concern for others, we were there so that women facing discrimination, rape trauma, racist attacks, benefit cuts, unemployment, homelessness … could get together, find out about their rights, volunteer and support each other. We worked hard to gather funds with the help of users and supporters, to buy and refurbish premises so we could be a bigger sustainable community resource. Now we find we are being deprived.

Climate change is threatening to destroy the planet. In the UK we are already experiencing the devastation caused by drought, flooding and exceptional cold. Shouldn’t we all be encouraged to switch to green energy? How many other grassroots groups working to protect the environment and keep their bills down in hard times are being penalised by this retroactive rule change? How will people be encouraged to go green in self-preservation, when they see that we are penalised for trying?

Up to end September 2013, our panels have produced over 6,000 kWh of solar electricity, reducing the amount of CO2 released by nearly four tons. We are delighted our solar panels are contributing to sustainable energy, and meeting around one third of the Centre’s electricity need. Our efforts have been recognised – in October 2012, we received two Environmental Excellence awards from Camden Council’s Climate Change Alliance. But we have lost income we were counting on – by now we should have received £2,778 in Feed-In Tariff payments.

We consider that the DECC had a ‘duty of care’ to at least put us on notice of the impending financial changes which would have allowed us to make other arrangements, and should honour the original offer which acted as an inducement to enter the scheme.

The Centre is committed to provide information on renewable energy, and on what people can do to keep warm while lowering bills. For further information visit the Centre, get in touch on 0207 482 2496 or contact@crossroadswomen.net.

 

 

 

 Crossroads Women, Registered charity no. 1134495, Company limited by guarantee no. 7087291