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Hundreds of homes in Dartford have benefitted from a soon-to-be scrapped green energy scheme

By KentOnline reporter

By Harriet Clugston, data reporter

Hundreds of households in Dartford have benefitted from a soon-to-be scrapped green energy scheme, figures show.

Households with green energy generators such as solar panels or wind turbines are currently able to earn money for the electricity they produce.

Government plans could see the scheme - known as the feed-in tariff - closed to new participants from next March.

Solar panels can bring massive benefits to your home and the environment, stock picture (3778421)
Solar panels can bring massive benefits to your home and the environment, stock picture (3778421)

Campaigners warn the move will make green energy less attractive, and could lead to a drop in installations costing jobs in the sector.

Figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy show 914 households in Dartford had signed up to the scheme as of September.

This equates to a rate of 205 installations per 10,000 households.

Almost all of the installations were solar panels.

Frank Gordon, head of policy at the Renewable Energy Association, said the planned change would be “very damaging” for the renewables industry.

“Our members are very concerned”, he said.

“There are thousands of small-scale installers, 40% of whom say they could exit the solar installation market.

“That could mean 6,000 job losses for the sector if the government follows through with this.”

Participants in the feed-in tariff scheme - which was introduced in 2010 - are paid both a ‘generation tariff’ and an ‘export tariff’.

This means they earn money for the electricity they generate for themselves, and for the excess energy they export onto the grid for others.

According to the REA, households could expect to save between £100 to £200 a year on their energy bills and receive around £100 per year from the two tariff payments.

The government announced in 2015 that it would end the generation tariff for new participants in March 2019, but has since said it will also discontinue the export tariff.

Across Great Britain, almost 800,000 households have joined the scheme - around 289 in every 10,000.

The region of Britian that has seen the biggest take up is the sunny south west of England, where 466 out of 10,000 households have benefited.

The lowest rate was in London, with just 60 per 10,000, followed by Scotland on 230.

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