This is a scheme which was launched by the UK government in 2010. Also known as FiT, the Feed-in Tariff was created to offer cash payments to anyone that produces their own electricity using a renewable energy source such as PV solar panels. In order to qualify for the scheme, you will need to make sure that your solar panels are accredited by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) and been fitted by an approved supplier.
Solar Feed-in Tariff
With the Feed-in Tariff there are three ways you can make money from your solar PV:
- The money you save on your energy bills.
- The Generation tariff – this is a fixed rate paid to a household for the total electricity generated. It is calculated at pence per unit (kWh).
- The Export tariff – this is any surplus electricity which you sell back to the National Grid.
The amount you actually receive depends on when you join/joined the scheme, but generally speaking you get a higher rate for the electricity you use than the electricity you sell back to the grid. As of January 2016, the tariff is around 4.85p / kWh for the Generation tariff.
How to register for the Feed-in Tariff
Ask your installer to register you on the MCS database, then tell your energy provider that you wish to register for the Feed-in Tariff. You will need to send them an application form, and the MCS certificate as well as an EPC (see below) – you will then be added to the Ofgem Central FiT register, and you start making money from your solar PV system.
Energy Performance Certificate
In order to qualify for the tariff your property will need to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of at least Band D. These certificates are an indicator of just how energy efficient your home is, with Band A being the most efficient and Band G the least. If you moved into a home after 2008, you should have received an EPC from the previous owner or landlord. If you don’t currently have an EPC, you can get a good idea of its energy efficiency on this Home Energy Check. Visit the EPC Register to find a qualified assessor to undertake an Energy Performance Certificate.
Small scale wind turbines and hydroelectricity are also eligible for the Feed-in Tariff.
Heat producing renewable such as Biomass Boilers and Solar Water Heating are be eligible for the Renewable Heat Incentive.
Get more information on the Feed-in Tariff from the Energy Saving Trust.