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How the feed-in tariff rules work for an additional installation

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 8 August 2011 at 9:30 am

NB: the rules have changed since this blog was published, and it is no longer applicable

Q: What happens if I have additional solar PV panels fitted - would the whole of my system qualify for the new feed-in tariff?

A: The answer to this question varies, depending on when the first installation was. If you add to an existing installation of the same technology within 12 months it will be treated as an increase in capacity of the same installation.

If you add to a system more than a year after the first part was registered in the Central FiTs (feed-in tariff) Register, it will count as a new station. You will still get the same payments for your original station. The new installation will be rated for the combined capacity of the two systems.

In this case it is an addition to a PV system installed before the 15 July 2009, so the owner is receiving the 'existing generator's' rate of 9.4p for generation, and 3.1p for exported electricity.

If you put in new installation, it will be more than a year since the first one was registered, so it will be considered a separate station. The rate you get will be calculated on the combined size of both systems. So, for example, if your first system is 2.1kWp and you install another the same size, that will take you out of the < 4kW category, and you will be paid 37.8p per kWh generated. If you install a 1.8kWp system, you'll get 43.3p, but you'll be generating slightly less.

Photo by Michael Homan


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

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6 comments - read them below or add one

Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 6 October 2011 at 10:48 pm

Hi Icarus. I haven't seen the contract - I imagine it varies between suppliers - but you can see what it is the banks and building societies are concerned about in this Blog.

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IcarusComment left on: 6 October 2011 at 5:11 pm

Because of the probability of savings interest rates remaining at sub inflationary levels I'm seriously considering investing in another system on a friends roof. I'm hoping that if I can get an installation before April 1st 2012 @ 43.3p then the potential return is the best available at the moment. I've detailed why solar power is ideal for Baby Boomers on my website:

I would be very interested if anyone has seen a copy of the contract between roof owners and the FiT recipient mentioned by someone commenting on the above webpage.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 6 September 2011 at 10:37 pm

Hi StuartH. If you add a 1.8kWp array to your existing system you will get the 43.3p rate just on that new installation. You will continue to get the lower rate on the existing system. I you installed a bigger new system, that took the total of both greater than 4kW, then you'd move into a different category and get 37.8p on the new array.

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StuartHComment left on: 6 September 2011 at 12:04 pm

Cathy - I installed a 2kWp PV system before July 2009. It is not clear to me from your Blog on installing additional panels exactly how the rules work.  If I install additional panels up to 1.8kWp I understand that it would be treated as a new system but would I then get 43.3p for all the electricity I generate or just for the 1.8kWp system even though scheme adds the two systems power together to determine the pence per unit paid to me?

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 26 August 2011 at 3:22 pm

Hi Steve

Sorry for the delay in responding -

Yes, you can get the FIT directly from the energy supplier even if it isn't on your roof. The FIT supplier does not have to be the same energy company as the one that your father buys his electricity from.

However, it's much less clear cut what the situation is if your father sells the house. The government originally said: "We expect standard property ownership rights to be applied to ownnership of the generating equipment. When ownership of that property changes we will expect the ownership of the generating equipment and FITs payments to also change and pass to the new owner of the property ... It will be left to the market for the previous owner to be compensated for the remaining value of the FITs payments and on site benefits (eg through a higher price paid for their property)."

This isn't always the case - as you probably know the 'free' solar installation companies rent the airspace above the roof, and the arrangement can continue when a house is sold. However, they have long and complicated leases which must be approved by the mortgage company, and you may not want to go to such lengths for a family arrrangement. 

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SteveRynComment left on: 22 August 2011 at 3:43 pm

I am looking into the idea of purchasing a PV system on my fathers house as well as my own.

My question is, if I installed the PV system on my fathers house, can I get the FiT directly from the energy supplier even though it is not my roof etc? If I can, will this payment remain being sent to me even if my father sells the house to someone else in the future?

Obviously I would not wish to pay for a system unless I can guarantee the benefits of the FiT. Any help is appreciated.  Steve

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