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Solar PV: UK Feed in Tariffs (FITs)

Updated: 1st November 2011, the tariff rates below apply to eligable systems which are installed from 1st April 2012.

Introduction

The solar PV Feed in Tariff (FIT) is a government backed incentive administered and regulated by OFGEM. The Feed in Tariff obliges the traditional energy companies (known in this context as FIT Licensees) to pay the owner of a solar PV system for the clean energy that they generate and also guarantees an additional price (per kWh) for the energy that they sell/export.

The Solar PV Feed in Tariff is available for everyone including homeowners, businesses, farms, factories, schools, and land owners. Income from the Feed in Tariff is not subject to tax for homeowners.

Essentially the Clean Energy Cashback Scheme or FIT comprises of two tariffs, the first is the Generation Tariff:

The Generation Tariff


The solar PV generation tariff guarantees a fixed payment (usually paid quarterly) based on the size of solar PV system that is installed and the amount of power (measured in kWh) that the solar PV system generates, the power is measued using an OFGEM approved generation meter which is provided by the installer. Payments are guaranteed for 25 years and payment rates are index linked to inflation (using the Retail Price Index). The current rates are outlined in the table below:

Solar PV Feed in Tariff Generation Rates

Updated: 1st November 2011, rates apply to eligable systems which are installed after 1st April 2012.

Solar PV System Size: Tariff Rates :From 01/04/2012 Tariff Lifetime:
0kWp - 4kWp 21.0p per kWh 25 years
4kWp - 10kWp 16.8 per kWh 25 years
10kWp - 50kWp 15.2p per kWh 25 years
50kWp - 250kWp 12.9p per kWh 25 Years
250kWp - 5MWp 8.5p per kWh 25 years

The Export Tariff

The solar PV export tariff applies to the proportion of clean energy that is exported (i.e. sold via the grid for others to use) and is set at a buy price of 3.1p per kWh. The export rate is guaranteed for 25 years and also index linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI). The export tariff is not applicable for off-grid PV systems.

Eligable Solar PV systems
The Solar Feed in Tariff can be applied to any type of solar PV system including off-grid PV systems (the generation tariff) and Building Integrated PV (BIPV) systems providing that both the solar equipment and the solar installer have been inspected and accredited to UK Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) standards.

For a solar PV system to be eligable for the feed in tariff the property where the system is to be installed must also meet an energy efficiency rating of grade 'C' or above.


 
 

How to Register a System

Once the installer has commissioned the system on completion you will be given an MCS number this is a record of your system, the details are also recorded in the MCS database. OFGEM administers a Feed in Tariff register which holds the details of all registered generators. Once you have the MCS number system registration for the Feed in Tariff is then carried out via the FIT Licensees (the power companies). A list of all the registered FIT Licensees can be found here:

Click here for a list of Registered Feed In Tariff Licenced Suppliers

FIT payments are made by the FIT Licensees.


Key Points:

The Generation Tariff is based on the amount of power (measured in kWh) a system generates, this power does not need to be sold, you can use the free electricity you generate and export any excesses inependently of the FIT.

The power you export/sell via the grid can be sold for additional profit at a rate of 3.1p per kWh.

The Feed in Tariff is applicable to all types of solar PV system but both the equipment and the installer must be certified to UK Microgenertion Certification Scheme (MCS) standards.

The property where the solar PV system is to be installed must also meet an energy efficiency rating of grade 'C' or above.

FIT payments are index linked to inflation, this means that if inflation rises than so will the FIT payment.

FIT payments are non-taxable for homeowners.

FIT payments and rates are guaranteed for 25 years.

Different rates are payable for different size systems (based on max power output in kWp).

Your installer must register your system on the MCS database and provide you with an MCS number.

FIT registration and FIT payments are handled by FIT Licensees (the participating power companies).

 
Get Prepared

Before a system is installed have a good idea of which energy company you will use to handle the FIT registration. Also remember you will be buying electricity as well as selling.

Have FIT application forms, terms, conditions and contracts ready for review at the system design stage. Work with your installer to ensure that the FIT application is right first time, paperwork is accurate and complete and the benefits of the FITs are maximised.

Look at your electricity usage in terms of times of the day, once installed it's very easy to forget about your mini powerstation quietly pumping out free electricity during the day
   
 
 


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