By Marcus Leach

The Government must alter its plans to slash financial incentives for households and communities that install solar electricity or face legal action, Friends of the Earth has warned.

The environmental campaigning charity has written to Climate Change Minister Greg Barker saying that unless the Government agrees to amend its proposals by 4pm on Friday 11 November, it will commence court proceedings.

The Government has said it plans to impose lower feed-in tariff payments — cash given to households generating green electricity through solar panels — on any installations completed after 12 December this year.

Friends of the Earth says this cut-off point, two weeks before the consultation ends, is unlawful and will lead to unfinished or planned projects being abandoned.

“The Government is breaking the law with its plans to fast-track a solar industry kill-off — as well as jeopardising thousands of jobs and countless clean energy projects across the country," Friends of the Earth’s Policy and Campaigns Director Craig Bennett said.

"Significant time and money has been invested planning solar schemes for homes, schools and libraries - giving them just six weeks to install is completely unacceptable, and schemes have already been scrapped.

"Ministers must amend their proposals and extend the deadline for solar tariff payments, or face a judicial review.

“With soaring fossil fuel bills and mounting anger about the Big Six energy firms, the Government should be encouraging people and communities to generate their own clean electricity — not destroying a new industry in its infancy.”

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