1st April 2019 – end of the feed-in tariff

Monday March 11, 2019

Interested in Solar? Then let us explain what the government intends

The feed-in tariff (FIT) was designed to increase the uptake of small-scale renewable energy generation technologies (solar panels) worth up to £6000 per household per annum over a period of 20 years. In addition, there are considerable savings on your electricity bills.

There are two tariffs – the generation tariff and the export tariff. The generation tariff is a fixed income for every unit your solar generates – currently at 3.86p/kWh (it was 46p/kWh in April 2010). The export tariff gives you an additional fixed income for every unit of electricity you sell back to the grid (around 50% of energy generated – currently at 5.25p/kWh).

The FIT was designed to reduce as the cost of investment drops and from 2010 to 2017 the price of having 4kW of solar installed in the UK fell by 67%, according to Green Business Watch, compared to average annual electricity bills which have risen by 31% in the same period (Gov.uk, 2018).

On April 1st, the generation tariff will discontinue and there will no longer be a payment for generating solar energy. What happens with the export tariff is uncertain but it is also likely to be discontinued. Why the government have made this decision is equally unclear – why should the grid benefit from free electricity that has been provided by small-scale residential units? On 8th January, the government revealed a new plan where households with solar panels are to get guaranteed payment for excess electricity but there are no clear dates as to when this plan will go live.

So what does this mean for the average consumer?

A large roof gives you the ability to generate more energy meaning more income via the generation tariff but if your house is occupied during the day, you are going to be using electricity so it is unlikely you will have excess energy to sell. If this is the case, it is worth considering solar before 1st April 2019 to take advantage of the generation tariff. We suggest you act quickly as it will be a busy time. It can take two months from commissioning to installation of Solar PV systems and those registered by the MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) before the end of March 2019 will qualify for the tariff.

If you have an average sized roof and your home is empty during most of the day, then you should consider energy storage. Battery storage will enable you to use the electricity created by your solar system during times without sunshine, meaning you use less non-renewable electricity from the grid. Battery storage will make you energy independent and sustainable – and in a post-FIT world, self-consumption is the objective.

So if you want to make some extra income via fixed tariffs, act quickly as the market will get busy before the tariff ends. However, FIT might not make any difference to you – solar prices continue to drop and electricity prices continue to rise and over 800,000 UK households already enjoy the savings made with the use of solar PV and battery storage – so call now to find out how much you can save with solar today.

*4kWp solar PV system, 900kWh per kWp/annum, 3% annual tariff inflation (linked to RPI)