Are the big energy companies obliged to take on new FIT generators?
Posted by Cathy Debenham on 5 December 2011 at 9:22 am
Q: I am trying to sort out a FiT (feed-in tariff) supplier. I have emailed all the suppliers shown on the Ofgem website with a range of questions. As far as I can make out only two of the big suppliers will pay the feed-in tariff if you are supplied by one of the other big suppliers (British Gas and E.On). What thoughts do you have on this, and is the information I've collected correct?
A: I had to check with Ofgem on this one. There are two categories of FIT licensees (click on the table to see it larger):
Mandatory FIT licencees
These are the companies with more than 50,000 domestic customers. Currently this is all of the big six, plus Utility Warehouse. It is mandatory for them to take on their own customers, the customers of non-mandatory suppliers, and off-grid customers as feed-in tariff generators. In addition, they can take on any other FIT generator who asks, if they wish to do so, but it is not obligatory.
It appears from the research done by our questioner (above) that most of the big six do not want to take on their competitors' customers as FIT generators.
Given that none of them pay anything above the statutory rate, the choice of supplier is solely down to customer service. Judging by our inbox, most of them are not doing brilliantly on that at the moment!
Voluntary FIT licencees
The voluntary FIT licensees (or suppliers) are obliged to take on any of their own customers who are FIT generators (with systems of 50kW and less). They can also take on generators who are the customers of other energy companies if they wish to. Some of them are happy to do so, as they see it as an opportunity to recruit more supply customers as well.
Smaller energy companies that have not become voluntary FIT licensees are obliged to give their customers information on how to find a FIT supplier. All registered suppliers are listed on the Ofgem website.
If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.
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