Is there a limit to how much feed-in tariffs I can get for my solar panels?
Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 9 July 2014 at 10:50 am
Q: My question is in relation to feed-in tariffs for solar pv panels. We have a massive, south-facing roof which could accommodate an 8kw system. We are away from the UK for several months of the year and therefore our entire electricity production could go back to the grid. As we have a smart meter fitted can we get paid for all the electricity we export or is there a limit?
A. The way FITS work you benefit three ways from the power you generate:
- You get paid a generation tariff for the amount of electricity you generate;
- You get paid an export tariff for the electricity you don't use on site, which gets exported to the national grid;
- You save money by using the electricity you generate instead of feeding it back into the grid.
To your specific question then:
- Generation tariff: This is paid on the total amount of electricity you generate so yes - in your case an 8kw system is a good idea if you have the room.
- Export tariff: For installations up to 30kW it is usually assumed that you will use 50 per cent of what you generate and export the rest. Therefore you get paid an export tariff for 50 per cent of what you generate. However, if you have an export meter fitted, you can get paid on your actual metered exports, and no, there isn't a limit to this. In your case, since you've away a lot it's likely that you'll use less than 50 per cent and therefore it makes sense to meter your exports. However, be careful: not all smart meters measure exports and not all FITs suppliers approve all models of meter for measuring export. Make sure you shop around a) for a meter that measures exports, and b) for a FITs supplier that recognises your chosen model.
- Savings: You will save when you're at the property by using electricity while it's being generated.
One final point of which you should be aware. You need to give quarterly readings to your FIT supplier so you might want to plan your trips away around this.
If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.
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