What is the Feed-In Tariff?
Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) became available in Great Britain on 1st April 2010. Northern Ireland is currently not included although this is under review.
Under this scheme energy suppliers are obliged to make regular payments to householders and communities who generate their own electricity from solar electricity panels (PV).
The scheme guarantees a minimum payment for all electricity generated by the system, as well as a separate payment for the electricity exported to grid. These payments are in addition to the bill savings made by using the electricity generated.
How does the Feed-in Tariff work?
The Tariffs give three financial benefits:
- A payment for all the electricity you produce, even if you use it yourself – the generation tariff
- Additional payment for any unused electricity you export into the grid – the export tariff
- A reduction on your standard electricity bill, from using energy you produce yourself
The generation tariff is the main payment of the Feed-In Tariff and is paid based on the total output of the renewable energy system – whether you feed it into the grid or use it yourself. Giving a guaranteed fixed payment for each kWh of energy produced for 20 years, see link below for current payment levels for Solar PV systems.
These tariff levels are index linked and are revised at the beginning of April every year
The export tariff is an extra payment for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of surplus electricity your system exports to the electricity grid, this is paid on top of the generation tariff
You automatically receive an additional payment for 50% of the electricity generated(for systems upto 30kW)
When this payment is received you are effectively selling that electricity to the energy supply company, who can then deliver it to other customers, this payment has been established to provide an incentive to promote energy efficiency.
For systems greater than 30kW an export meter will be required
Who pays for the FiTs?
Although the FiTs are established in law, rather than coming from the government, the tariffs are actually paid by the energy suppliers who pass on the cost of the Feed-in Tariff scheme to all their electricity customers.
Duration and variations
The tariffs for Solar PV last for 20 years and are index linked so will track the retail price index. Once you start at a given tariff (see the tariff levels table) it is guaranteed for the full 20 years and is index linked.
Each year the set level of the generation and export tariffs will be adjusted pro-rata to the retail price index and the Tariff administrators will publish the updated tariff levels.
For current tariff levels click here www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/domestic/content/feed-tariff-scheme
Applying for FiTs
To apply for the FIT incentive scheme, your installation must be carried out by an MCS certified installer who will only install MCS certified products. Once your installation is commissioned and registered with MCS you will need to contact your Energy shipper (the company you purchase your electricity from) and provide them with your MCS details. They will then arrange payment of your FIT.
A list of suppliers that can provide Feed-In Tariffs can be found on the OFGem website.
For a more detailed calculation of your potential savings you might want to consult the Energy Trust’s calculator and when we survey your property we will provide you with a detailed assessment using the governments MCS standard assessment procedure.