How to switch your feed-in tariff (FIT) provider
Posted by Kate Turner on 1 June 2012 at 10:45 am
The Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme has been running for over two years now, and more than 250,000 installations have been registered since it was launched in 2010. But what happens when the service from the FIT provider isn’t up to scratch and you decide to change your FIT provider? How easy is it to switch? And do you have to switch electricity supply too? These questions are being asked more and more often, this blog offers some guidance on the answers.
You have the right to change your FIT provider at any time and you can choose which company you use as your feed-in tariff provider. So, if you are dissatisfied with your current FIT provider then you can simply switch to a company that you believe will offer you a better service. It’s important to remember that you do not necessarily have to get your feed-in tariff paid by the energy company that you buy your electricity from.
Switching FIT provider does not change the feed-in tariff rate you receive; you will continue to get the same rate.
The process of switching feed-in tariff provider should be straightforward; the first step is to notify your current FIT provider that you wish to switch. This normally involves writing to your FIT provider to give them at least 28 days’ notice that you wish to switch FIT provider. They may also need meter readings from you so that they can calculate any outstanding FIT Payments due; and ask for your permission to provide your new FIT provider with information about you in order to facilitate the transfer.
Next, you need to approach the new FIT provider; either by contacting them directly and/or completing their FIT sign-up form. They will then request the switch from the original FIT provider and, if the original FIT provider consents, a switch date will be agreed. This is the date when the central register, kept and maintained by industry regulator Ofgem (in which all FIT- accredited installations are recorded), is updated to reflect who your new FIT provider is.
Both FIT providers and the FIT generator (you) will be notified once the switch is complete. You will agree a new Statement of FIT Terms with the new FIT provider.
Does it mean I have to switch my electricity supply too?
If you switch FIT provider you do not necessarily have to move your electricity supply too. It depends on the energy company that you switch your FIT to.
In general, the Big Six will take on FIT customers without their electricity supply (as long as you aren't buying your electricity from one of the other big six companies). This is because they are under obligation to be FIT provider for their own customers and anyone who does not have a FIT provider. However, some voluntary FIT providers require you to switch to their energy supply before they can be your FIT provider.
A few rules• When you decide to switch to a new FIT provider, all installations sharing the same meter must be switched to the same FIT provider. • The old FIT provider will be obliged to pay all FIT payments due to you up to the switch date.
• The new FIT provider will be obliged to pay all FIT payments from the switch date.
If I have a smart meter installed, am I stuck?
If you are on deemed export then a smart meter installed by your supplier is irrelevant. If it measures the total generation, then you may not be stuck but it’s best to clarify the situation with your current FIT provider, and check whether new FIT provider can read it.
However, if you are on metered export then there is an issue, which needs to be judged on a case by case basis.
Photo: Good Energy
About the author: Kate Turner is external affairs executive at Good Energy.
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