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Feed-in Tariffs and Smart Export Guarantee

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The Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) scheme closed to new applications on 31 March 2019.

Under FITs, householders receive payments for the electricity generated by eligible installed systems like solar PV, wind or hydro turbines, or micro CHP.

See below for information about the scheme closure and other potential financial incentives.

Important information about FITs closure and future applications

  • Householders that installed an eligible system and have already successfully applied for FITs payments are unaffected by the scheme closure.
  • Householders that have installed an eligible system with an MCS certificate dated on or before 31 March 2019 have until 31 March 2020 to apply to the scheme.
  • Householders that have not installed an eligible system on or before 31 March 2019 will not be eligible for FITs payments.

Who is this information for? 

The information on this page may be helpful to:

  • householders that have installed an eligible electricity generating system and are considering applying for FITs payments before 31 March 2020.

           or

  • householders interested in updates on any potential replacement for FITs. 

Ofgem’s Feed-In Tariffs page and Ofgem’s FAQs on scheme closure have further information.

Full details of the consultations and BEIS’ response can be found  in the government response

Please note that the information on this page is not an exhaustive list of all the criteria of the Feed-In Tariffs scheme.

Financial incentives for electricity generation

Smart Export Guarantee

Although the Feed-In Tariff scheme has now closed the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published a consultation on a ‘Smart Export Guarantee’. This put forward the proposal that government should require suppliers to pay small-scale low-carbon generators for the electricity they export to the grid.

The consultation closed on 5 March 2019 and the response has yet to be published. This page will be updated when new information is available.

Alternative financial incentives

In the interim some energy suppliers are offering similar deals to the proposed Smart Export Guarantee, paying customers set tariffs for electricity they export to the grid. Deals are specific to each household and could involve your generation and supply being metered. Deals may also be time limited and have other conditions which you should consider carefully in order to make the best choice for you.

The Solar Trade Association website lists the current deals available.

If you are based in Scotland and haven’t yet installed a solar PV system, you may be able to apply for the interest-free Home Energy Scotland loan to help with the initial costs. To be eligible for the loan you must not start work on your system until you have received a written loan offer.  

Who is responsible for the FITs scheme?

The UK Government's Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) made the policy decisions about the FITs scheme and are the relevant contact for queries about legislation.

The energy regulator Ofgem E-Serve administers the scheme.

Certain energy suppliers (also known as FITs licensees) handle FITs scheme applications and make FITs payments. If you have a query about an existing application you can contact Ofgem or your FITs Licensee. Ofgem have a list of FITs Licensees contact details on their site.

What are the deadlines for FITs support?

Householders installing domestic systems (solar PV and wind under 50kW and all micro CHP systems) that wish to apply to the scheme must:

  • have had the system commissioned and an MCS certificate issued on or before 31 March 2019.
  • apply to their FIT licensee by 31 March 2020.
  • N.B The number of new installations that can receive support under the FIT scheme each month is capped – known as a deployment cap.
  • The deployment cap means there needs to be sufficient space in the final quarterly deployment cap (Jan – March 2019) to accommodate an installation’s capacity – if not, it would not be eligible for FITs support. See Ofgem’s Feed-in Tariffs deployment cap reports for the latest information.
  • As such we would recommend applying as soon as possible to maximise your chances of being approved within the cap

How do FITs payments work?

Successful applicants to the FITs scheme benefit in three ways:

  • Generation tariff: a set rate for each unit (or kWh) of electricity generated. Once approved, tariffs are guaranteed for the period of the tariff (up to 20 years) and are index-linked.
  • Export tariff: a further rate for each unit exported back to the electricity grid.
  • Energy bill savings: savings on electricity bills because generating electricity means less need to buy electricity from an energy supplier. The amount saved will vary depending how much  electricity is used on site. Visit our Renewable electricity pages.

What technologies are eligible for FITs support?

The FITs scheme included most domestic renewable and low carbon electricity-generating technologies, including:

To qualify for the FITs scheme, the installer and  products used must both be certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), except hydro and anaerobic digestion which go through the ROO-FIT process. The tariffs will depend on both the eligibility date and, for solar PV, the property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating.

How do you apply for FITs?

There are two application routes.

1. The MCS route for application

The MCS route is for PV or wind installations with a declared net capacity (DNC) of 50kW or less and micro CHP installations with a total installed capacity (TIC) of 2kW or less. This will cover most applications. Both the product and installers must be MCS-certified with an MCS certificate which is dated on, or before 31 March 2019. 

We recommend that contacting your FIT supplier (also known as the FIT licensee) as soon as possible to confirm the requirements and make sure you know exactly what information they require from you and when they need to receive it by.

If you installed solar PV you will be required to provide an EPC of your property, proving that you  achieved a band D or above (before the installationof the PV panels) in order to be eligible for the higher tariff rate. If not, you will receive the lower FITs generation tariff. 

If you have installed and commissioned a system (with a MCS certificate dated on or before 31 March) you should tell your chosen FIT licensee that you wish to register for  FITs and send them:

  • a completed application form,
  • the MCS certificate,
  • for solar PV, the Energy Performance Certificate that shows your home has an energy efficiency rating band D or better. Note: the EPC must be dated before the commissioning date of your PV system to be eligible for the higher tariff.  If the EPC band D or better is dated after the commissioning date of your system you will be eligible for the lower rate.

​Your FITs licensee will:

  • cross-reference your installation with the MCS database and undertake other eligibility checks;
  • confirm your eligibility and the date you are eligible for payments from. 
  • add you to the Ofgem Central FIT Register, which records all installations in the FIT scheme. If your application is within the cap you will receive FITs payments. If the deployment cap has already been reached, Ofgem will inform you of this and you will not be eligible to receive payments
  • agree with you if and when you will need to provide meter readings and when they will make FIT payments to you – these will form part of your statement of FIT terms.

2. The ROO-FIT route to accreditation

The ROO-FIT accreditation process is for all other applications. Guidance on this process can be found on Ofgem's website.

 

More information

Latest Ofgem tariffs

Read details of the latest and historical export tariff rates in the publications on Ofgem's website

Visit Ofgem

Government information

Read more details on FITs from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Visit BEIS

Based in Scotland?

Call Home Energy Scotland for free, expert and impartial advice on 0808 808 2282, from Monday to Friday between 8am to 8pm and on Saturdays between 9am to 5pm.

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