The government is facing claims totalling £140m to cover losses following its illegal cuts to the solar feed-in tariff.
17 firms are claiming compensation for lost business after the Department of Energy and Climate Change announced in October 2011 that it would halve the feed-in tariff for solar power.
The announcement prompted a massive slump in the industry with installations falling by 97%. The High Court ruled the move illegal due to the cut-off date of 12th December being before a proper consultation on the change had been completed and subsequent claims then followed.
Among the claimants are contractor Breyer Group, claiming for a total of £6.3m in lost business, whilst another firm, E-tricity, states they had been forced to let 30% of its staff go following the cut. Chief executive Simon Gillett said: “Last year should have been our year for growth, innovation, investment and training, but instead it was an ‘annus horriblus’ peppered with cut backs, customer confusion, part time working, stress and redundancies.”
A spokesperson for the DECC said: “The department does not accept it has any liability and we will vigorously defend our position.”