The Feed-in Tariff (FiT)
What is it?
In April 2010 the government introduced the Feed-in Tariff to incentivise people to generate their own green electricity. The FiT is a guaranteed, index linked, tax free payment over a 20 year period for the electricity that your PV panels generate.
The FiT is based on both a generation payment and an export payment. You will be paid for all the electricity that your panels generate (generation payment) irrespective of whether you use this yourself or export it back to the grid. The amount of electricity you export back to the grid is not currently measured, so your electricity supplier will assume that half of the electricity you generate will be exported.
How is it measured?
The amount of electricity your panels produce will be recorded by a dedicated generation meter which will be located near to your consumer unit (fuse board). Your electricity provider will ask you read this generation meter on a quarterly basis. The output is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), and how much you generate will determine how much you earn.
What is the current tariff?
There are different tariff bands for the size of system you install. The highest payments are for those PV systems up to 4kW. Most domestic installations will be eligible for this highest tariff. Currently, for every kWh of electricity produced you will receive 14.9 pence. For every kWh exported you will receive 4.64 pence. You will also save money by using the electricity which you have generated, and is free to you!
In order to qualify for the tariff rate above you will need to possess an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Level D.
How much electricity will my system generate?
The likely output of a system can be calculated by using climate and irradiation data from the datasets supplied by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) which is povided for different areas of the country. Taking into account the size of system, the roof orientation, slope and possible shading then the number of kWh of electricity produced a year can be estimated. These figures will be supplied with your quotation.
How to apply for the feed-in Tariff?
Each energy supplier will have slightly different requirements in order to open a FiT Account. You will need to either contact your supplier or look at their web site to obtain a Feed-in Tariff application form. It is best to obtain this form prior to the installation to save time.
Greenmaze registers the completed installation on the MCS/Ofgem central FiT register and provides you with a MCS accreditation certificate. This will need to be submitted along with the completed FiT application form to your energy provider.
How do I receive the payments?
Greenmaze install a generation meter which measures the kilowatt-hours produced by your solar panels, so it is easy to see how much electricity you are generating and how much money you are making. To claim the payments all you have to do is give a quarterly meter reading to your electricity supplier and they will make the payment directly into your bank account or send you a cheque.
As well as receiving direct quarterly payments, you will also be saving a considerable amount on your electricity bill. During daylight hours, the electricity you generate from your solar PV system will reduce, or eliminate, the need to use electricity from the grid. With some thought you can optimise the amount you use and maximise the savings on your bill. Most people report that their electricity bills have more than halved since their installation.