Countdown until the end of the Feed-in Tariff: What’s Next?
The Feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme is considered to be the most successful climate change policy introduced by the British government. It fuelled the uptake of renewable energy technologies across the UK and ensured the country met its targets for deployment of solar PV power and onshore wind energy five years early.
From 2008 to 2017, nearly 1 million installations have been registered in the UK and green energy (wind, hydro, solar and biomass) has accounted for nearly 30% of all energy generation, compared to 21% of nuclear power and 7% of coal energy generation. Regrettably, the scheme is scheduled to end in April next year, which means property owners who are considering solar panel projects now have less than 9 months to join the programme and benefit from the feed-in tariff. Here’s what you need to know about the scheme…
What are the Feed-in Tariffs (FIT)?
Introduced in 2010, the feed-in tariff is a UK government programme designed to promote and accelerate the adoption of renewable and low-carbon electricity generation technologies. It offers a financial incentive for property owners across the UK to install renewable energy technology in their homes and businesses. Under the scheme, property owners who install or have installed an eligible system like solar PV or a wind turbine receive payments on both generation and export of the green energy they produce. If your application to participate in the scheme is successful, you will be assigned a tariff and get a fixed payment for every unit of electricity you generate based on a number of factors, including the size of your system, what technology you install, when your system was installed and how energy efficient your property is.
How much could you receive?
There are three ways you could benefit from FIT’s.
Generation tariff: once your application is approved, your energy supplier will start paying you a set amount for each unit (kilowatt hour) of electricity you generate (that’s where the name “generation tariff” comes from). If you’re in the planning phase of installing a renewable energy technology, make sure you choose a certified installer. The tariff levels are guaranteed for the period of 20 years.
Export tariff: on top of your generation tariff payments, you can also sell the surplus energy you produce back to the grid. You will be paid for 50% of however much you generate, this is known as the deemed export tariff, unless you have an export meter then you will be paid on a metered export tariff.
Savings on energy bills: naturally, you’ll be saving on your annual energy bills because you won’t be buying as much electricity from the grid. How much you can save will depend on whether you have a solar battery system installed, the amount of electricity you use and how energy-efficient your property is.
What’s next for the solar energy sector in the UK?
With the FIT scheme ending in April 2019, the financial incentive for property owners and community groups to install renewable energy technologies in their homes and commercial properties will disappear. Those who manage to register a new installation before 31st March 2019 will still be eligible to receive around 4p for each kilowatt they produce for the next 20 years. And those who fall short of the deadline will have to look for viable alternatives.
In future we think that battery storage systems will take centre stage in new solar energy projects. The lack of financial incentive will shift people’s attention to consuming as much of the green energy they produce as possible and affordable battery storage solutions like a Moixa Smart Battery will make this possible for everyone. Instead of selling the homegrown energy back to the grid and later buying it at a higher price, people will be able to store it inside the battery and use it on demand.
This also means that households with battery storage solutions will be protected from electricity price hikes predicted to be just around the corner and will likely make substantial savings on their annual energy bills. We believe that combining green energy generation with battery storage solution will make a strong economical case for green energy projects.
The Smart Export Guarantee
On January 8th 2019, the government answered the “what’s next” question initially posed in this blog post, by launching the proposed Smart Export Guarantee. The Smart Export Guarantee will ensure that homeowners generating their own renewable energy will be paid for any energy they export to the grid although there is currently no indication of when this will begin or what the payments will include. For more information on the Smart Export Guarantee then take a look at our blog post.