Feed-in tariffs 'may not benefit low income households'

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Consumer Focus has responded to the government's plans for feed-in tariffs, voicing concerns about the initial cost of installing microgeneration technology.

It was announced yesterday (February 1st) that, from April, homes with solar panels and miniature wind turbines will be paid for the energy they produce, even if none of the electricity is sold back to the national grid.

However, Consumer Focus has raised concerns that the rate of payment may not be enough to "kick-start" the scheme and low income households may miss out on savings.

The group said: "If the government wants to create a low-carbon economy... It needs to offer more attractive cash back rates to overcome the cost-barrier of installing this technology and provide better information and advice to consumers."

Plans to offer incentives for renewable heat generation were welcomed as, providing the costs of offering the service are not passed on the consumers, it could cut costs for those living in areas without a mains gas supply.

One way that households are almost guaranteed to save money on their gas and electricity is by going online and comparing suppliers to find the cheapest deals. Moneywise magazine recently said that those who have not switched in the past 12 months are "likely" to make a saving.

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