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Will the grid receive my export for free?

Posted by Anna Carlini on 18 April 2019 at 10:05 am

The Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) scheme has been closed since the beginning of this month (April 2019), but there are still unanswered questions for what this means for many new and existing solar panel owners. In particular this blog targets those who have missed the application deadline but still want to install solar panels, and those coming to the end of their pre-existing FiT contracts. The main query we want to answer is: “does the ending of the scheme mean the grid will receive your exported electricity for free?”

Well, for the moment, yes it does.

In place since 1 April 2010, the FiT was designed as a financial incentive for home owners to install solar panels on to their rooves. Crucially, this scheme was made up of two payments:

  1. The generation tariff: a set rate for each unit (or KWh) of electricity generated.
  2. The export tariff: a further rate for each unit exported back to the electricity grid.

The scheme closed on March 31st 2019 and any households who have not successfully applied to the scheme will now no longer be able to do so.

 

When the end of the FiT was announced, it was initially believed that the export tariff would not be continued after the FiT deadline. This would mean that mircro-generators would not be paid for the electricity they export to the grid.  

However, this decision faced huge amounts of backlash.

Then in March 2019 the government announced their decision that householders would be able to receive the new Smart Energy Guarantee (SEG) once it comes into effect. This will replace the export tariff element of the FiT scheme and pay for the electricity exported to the grid. This news was warmly welcomed by the renewable sector, but there is still a lot of uncertainty around the SEG. It is not known when it will come into place, what rate it will be, nor what it will really look like.

The good news is however, that a small number of energy companies are leading the way in the industry and offering export tariffs for example, the leading two at present are E.On and Octopus, although Bulb is also piloting a scheme. Octopus is currently offering a deal a little better than that previously offered by the government, claiming it aims to “replace and improve” on what was offered before. They state that the tariff could earn customers up to £287 in a year. Our advice would therefore be to sign up to one of these companies that will pay you for the electricity that you export to the grid. It is worth applauding these companies who are offering this payment without being obligated to by the government.

In conclusion, although we are still awaiting more information about the government’s Smart Energy Guarantee, there are still ways to be paid for the energy you export to the grid. Which means that there are many benefits offered by generating solar electricity, despite this time of uncertainty for the solar industry. Solar panels help you to benefit from lower energy bills, there is still the opportunity to earn through an export tariff supplied by select energy companies and of course they offer you the chance to lower your carbon footprint. This means that solar panels still make sense in a post-FiT world.

 

Related blogs

How the Feed-in-Tariff ending in April 2019 could affect you

What assistance is available for community energy projects?

5 frequently asked questions about solar electricity

 

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

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Comments

5 comments - read them below or add one

StephenGiderson

StephenGidersonComment left on: 13 May 2019 at 8:49 am

I think it's a great initiative to encourage people to be more conscientious about their chosen power usage and its source, If all people are going to be responsible for their own power production, I think that we will be able to really put a dent in all of the burning of green house gases and the like! If this initiative really takes off and more people are allowed to join in without repercussions for the power conglomerates, we really stand a chance to save this planet...

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AndyD

AndyDComment left on: 8 May 2019 at 12:02 pm

I already have a solar PV installation and receive FIT payments for it.  I don't have an export meter so it the figure for export is an assumed 50% of what is generated.

We only have 1kw of panels so I'm thinking about whether it could be worth installing some more as we have room on the roof. 

Do we know how would this installation would work?

I've been told we'd need another inverter as we'd need to bypass the current generation meter.  But, how could export payments work if we went with someone like octopus?  I guess they would somehow need to calculate what is exported not including from the FIT registered installation.  Can smart meters be that smart?

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Fritchard

FritchardComment left on: 27 April 2019 at 10:09 am

Having moved house around the time of the FIT being removed I’m looking forward to installing Solar & my Smart Meter install is booked for June, with Octopus and I will be taking up their Outgoing offer and Go tariff asap.

I will get 5p for generation and spend 5p when charging the MS.

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Anna Carlini

Anna Carlini from Comment left on: 24 April 2019 at 4:34 pm

@osbrook I'm afraid not as you will already recieve an export tariff rate through your FiT payments. 

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osbrook

osbrookComment left on: 24 April 2019 at 3:25 pm

If I sign-up with Eon, Octopus etc can I claim Feed in and my current FIT?
May be a daft question but doing so would encourage export rather than battery storage or hotwater heating.

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