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Solar looking bright


A RECORD NUMBER OF HOMEOWNERS HAD SOLAR panels installed in August, according to Ofgem. The devices were fitted to 2,257 homes, up from 1,700 in July and 1,400 in June. Some 6,688 homes have had solar panels fitted since April, when the government introduced a feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme to reward people who generate their own energy. FITs are designed to increase the uptake of microgeneration and help deliver the UK’s 2020 renewable energy targets. The system enables homeowners to receive 41.3p per unit of energy they generate, whether or not they use it or sell it to the National Grid. After the panels are installed, the tariff is set to be paid for 25 years and increased in line with inflation.


There are more than 100,000 microgeneration installations in the UK producing heat and electricity; this will rise as technology becomes more affordable, customer awareness increases and suppliers become more skilled. Paul Reeve, ECA’s head of safety and environment, said:


‘We welcome FITs, which are clearly having an impact on domestic solar photovoltaic (PV) installation, albeit from a very low base. It is a good start, but to be really successful, government needs to understand that while marginally


Legrand forms new power distribution division


LEGRAND HAS FURTHER strengthened its position by combining two of its leading brands – Electrak and Zucchini – within a new power distribution division. The new division includes Zucchini’s full busbar and transformer offering, the complete workplace power distribution range of Electrak, and all of Legrand’s existing power products – meaning it can lay claim to offering the most comprehensive range of busbar solutions on the market.


favourable decisions can prompt business action, domestic consumers may need more clear-cut reasons to opt for renewables. It appears that much of the early benefit is for those able to make a significant capital investment, or benefit from economies of scale. The FITs regime may need to give more incentive to lower income households if we are to see a step change in solar PV across the existing UK housing stock.’


Sunny outlook... solar panel installations continue to rise in line with government targets


JTL £1m apprentice pledge


JTL HAS AGREED TO PUT £1M from its reserves towards supporting those employers recruiting


electrotechnical Advanced Apprentices in England this year.


In addition to its standard grants package – which includes payment of all college and assessment costs, examination and registration fees, and up to two attempts at the AM2 test – JTL has agreed to offer an employer grant of £1,000 for the first 1,000 electrotechnical Advanced Apprentices recruited between the ages of 16


6 ECA Today Autumn 2010


and 18. This grant will be available immediately. JTL’s chief executive, Denis Hird, said: ‘It is recognised that the industry is still going through a tough time and this is making it difficult for some employers to commit to taking on an apprentice. We hope that this significant investment by JTL will help employers make that commitment.’ n For further details about how to apply for the £1,000 grant, please contact JTL on 0800 0852308 or visit www.jtltraining.com.


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