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Feed-in tariffs: how to claim them

Posted by John Martin on 5 July 2010 at 9:39 am

Feed-in tariffs are now up and running and many people are keen to take advantage of the potential returns. This is a guide to how to qualify and apply to receive these payments.

If you are applying for an installation commissioned after 1 April 2010 you will need to ensure the following:

 

  • It must be a photovoltaic, micro-wind, anaerobic digestion, micro-hydro  or micro-CHP (combined heat and power) technology
  • It must be <50kW (or <2KW for CHP)
  • It must have been installed/commissioned  by an MCS approved installer
  • Connection to the electrical supply must be notified to the DNO (distribution network operator) using a GN83/1 form
  • It must be MCS approved equipment 
  • The installation must include an Ofgem approved total generation meter.

Your installer should sort all of these out for you, but it is worth checking before you give them the go ahead. 

When everything mentioned above is in order then you can contact your chosen feed-in tariff provider. All the big energy companies are legally obliged to pay feed-in tariffs, and some of the smaller ones have chosen to do so too. Application will usually involve providing an opening meter reading from your total generation meter (you will not have to buy your electricity from the same supplier that you export any excess to).

Your provider will register you with the Ofgem feed-in tariff central register. Once Ofgem has reviewed and accepted your application you will receive a statement of terms which details commencement date, meter reading submissions and payment details etc. You will need to sign and return this within an agreed period (usually 14 days).

If your installation is greater than 30kW you will also need an export meter, if not you will be paid the export tariff of 3p per kW based on 50% of your total generation or 75% for micro-hydro.

On submission of meter readings you should then receive your FiT payment (usually quarterly )paid by cheque or directly into your bank account.

Photo by AMagill

About the author: John Martin is proprietor of QMSA and managing director of Benchmark Certification.

If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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Comments

4 comments - read them below or add one

Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 19 August 2010 at 8:29 am

Hi Baslowman

Good question. The answer is that we can never know for sure. I asked the officials at DECC the same question a while ago and this was the answer they gave: 

"Your question is a difficult one because the underlying issue is not specific to FITs: In general terms governments don’t do things retrospectively and there are many published examples of that (where,  e.g., a benefit is reduced going forward for new recipients but retained for existing recipients). In absolute terms Parliament can enact, amend or repeal any legislation it chooses"

But in terms of going ahead with a rent your roof scheme, it's the company that installs them that are taking the risk on that, not the homeowner.

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baslowman

baslowmanComment left on: 17 August 2010 at 6:09 pm

a lot of recent publicity about FITS and the free fitting of solar panels by companies for users who hand over their FITS income is all based on assuming that for 20 years or so the FITS rates will either remain unchanged or go up with prices. how can we be sure they won't simply cut them to save money? does the contract guarrantee such rates (or more) for 20 years? what secutiry of income do you have if you enter suhc a long term deal?

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 30 July 2010 at 11:23 am

Hmm - interesting. Some of the energy companies seem able to pay, and others don't. Is it Ofgem that's the barrier, or a bit of both?

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sashton

sashtonComment left on: 21 July 2010 at 10:34 am

I'm still waiting.

I sent in the FIT forms in April for an MCS approved 3.8kw PV system installed in November. I received a confirmation email in April but nothing more. I called them and left a message but have had no reply. EDF cannot proceed until Ofgem get their act together.

Yes, I have had the benefit of 600kwh off my bill but nothing so far for the 2.5mwh generated or the 2mwh exported.

I was planning to install 11kw wind as I have an acceptable site which has been monitored for two years now and have potential for a small hydro scheme. Western Power quoted £25k for running in 3-phase which would be uncomfortable to pay. I probably would have, based on "doing the right thing" but if Ofgem will not do their bit I am just throwing my money away.

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