As we receive or are forwarded local MP’s responses to constituents’ joint letters (see below), we will publish them at the head of this page.
Dear (Kirklees) ___ MP,
RE: Business rates on community and business solar rooftops at risk of increasing up to 8 times as of April
We are extremely concerned that as of April this year many businesses & public sector organisations in the UK will see major business rates increases on their rooftop solar installations – in some cases as much as 8 times more. This is due to a complete mis-fit between the business rates system and solar PV.
As things stand business rates for self-owned commercial rooftop solar will increase by between 6 and 8 times from April, and 3.5-4.5 times for schools and hospitals. This will significantly affect the profitability of existing solar installations and will all but eliminate the incentive for businesses & community organisations to install solar, making new installations uneconomic.
Government has confirmed that they did not factor business rates into operational expenditure when calculating the new Feed-in Tariff levels at the end of 2015, which have been reduced by c.60-70%. Furthermore gas CHP is already exempt from business rates, so it makes no sense to tax solar (see also).
Jason McCartney MP only: As your constituents we appreciate your support for the green economy including, last year, your agreement that the Government should accept the Fifth Carbon Budget and signing of the Pledge for the Environment.
We are very concerned about the impact of this move, which will affect many of the 23,000 businesses & public sector buildings with solar roofs. The new rates will come into effect in April, with valuations having already been sent out. Due to the urgency of this issue, would you be able to raise it with the Chancellor?
Barry Sheerman MP only: We would like to thank you for signing Early Day Motion 491 calling on the Government to take action so that business rates are consistent with developing the green economy.
Paula Sheriff MP only: We also ask you to sign Early Day Motion 491 calling on the Government to take action so that business rates are consistent with developing the green economy. You can see the full text and list of signatories, including Kirklees MP Barry Sheerman, here.
We are happy for Kirklees Campaign Against Climate Change to display your response on their website.
We’d be grateful if you could reply by the end of Tuesday 28th February.