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 tariff?
There are different tariff bands for the size of system you install. Most domestic installations will be up to 4kW. For every kWh (or unit) of electricity produced you will receive payment at the tariff current at the time of installation. For every kWh exported you will also receive and export tariff, on smaller installations this is usually deemed as half of what you have generated, removed the need to specifically measure the export. 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) for your property which needs to meet Level D. For current FiT rates and bands please see the OfGEM website here: www.ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-programmes/fit/fit-tariff-rates
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.
The Energy Saving Trust has the following guidance for Solar PV installations: “A 4kWp system can generate around 4,200 kilowatt hours of electricity a year in the south of England – that’s the same amount of electricity as it takes to turn the London Eye 56 times. It will save around 1.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. ” (Source : EST website : www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/renewable-energy/electricity/solar-panels). For comparison, the latest OFEGM figures for Typical Domestic Consumption Values are as follows (numbers are kWh):
|Electricity: Profile Class 1||Low||1,900|
Fore more information please visit the OFGEM website : https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/gas/retail-market/monitoring-data-and-statistics/typical-domestic-consumption-values
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.