Appeal against ending of CCL exemption rejected

30th November 2016

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Related tags

  • Adaptation ,
  • Reporting ,
  • Renewable


Sarah Still

The Court of Appeal has backed the government's decision to withdraw the renewable source electricity (RSE) exemption under the Climate Change Levy (CCL).

The ruling came in Infinis Energy Holdings v HM Treasury and Revenue and Customs [2016], when the court dismissed the renewable energy firm’s argument.

The exemption was designed to increase demand for renewables from business consumers and support the renewable generation sector. The chancellor announced on 8 July 2015 that it would be scrapped from 1 August 2015. Infinis and Drax Power applied for a judicial review, but the application was dismissed in February 2016.

Drax did not join Infinis in its appeal against that decision.

There were two main grounds of appeal: that the judge had erred in law by concluding that withdrawal of the exemption did not violate EU legal principles of foreseeability, legal certainty and legitimate expectations; and that it infringed the EU principle of proportionality and Infinis’s right to property under Art 17 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The court held that there had been no violation of the principles of foreseeability, legal certainty or legitimate expectations. It also ruled that there was no breach of the EU principle of proportionality – that government actions shall not exceed what is necessary to achieve the objectives of EU treaties. The judges said the government had decided to withdraw the exemption after weighing the impact on renewable energy firms against the public interest, concluding that it was no longer good value.


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