APRIL 1 officially marked the first day of a new era for the UK's solar power sector, as the incentive of the Feed-in-Tariff was removed, leaving all new installations to work on market returns alone.

The FiT has been judged 'hugely successful' in encouraging the spread of photo-voltaic tech, which is now working for over 900,000 homes, and thousands of businesses and community groups.

Praising the scheme, the Solar Trade Association said that it had helped make PV panels a common-place sight in neighbourhoods all over the UK, and made small-scale solar the 'nation's favourite' energy generation technology. But the STA added that, with its removal, there had been 'understandable confusion' about what happens next.

To remedy that, the STA has set out clear answers to key questions for the industry on its website, covering; the need to maintain MCS standards; metering requirements for installers going forwards; EPC rules; the new 'Smart Export Guarantee' and what to tell customers.

The STA and MPs from all parties have advocated strongly for households and small businesses to receive a fair market payment for the surplus power they put on the grid, in line with EU law. The Government has recognised that it would not be acceptable for people to give their power away on the grid for free and has said that households going solar post-FiT will be eligible for the SEG when it is appears.

The association's Chris Hewett said: "We are keeping a close eye on these rapidly moving market developments, and will be helping households to identify the best Smart Export Guarantee offers through a supplier league table.”