Following the closure of the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme to new applicants in March 2019, the government has acknowledged that small-scale renewable energy generators need to be paid for the electricity that they export to the grid. As such, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is introducing the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG).
The scheme is set to take effect by 1st January 2020.
What is the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)?
The Smart Export Guarantee is a scheme, designed to pay people who generate small amounts of renewable energy for the electricity that they export to the grid.
This applies to renewable energy generation systems using one of the following technologies:
- Solar PV panels
- A domestic wind turbine
- Anaerobic digestion
- Micro combined heat and power
Under the scheme, all licenced energy suppliers with 150,000 or more customers must provide at least one Smart Export Guarantee tariff. Smaller suppliers also have the option to offer a SEG tariff on a voluntary basis but will be held to the same operational requirements as larger suppliers.
Anyone who already receives payment for their Feed-in Tariff on their installation will be unaffected by the launch of the Smart Export Guarantee.
How much can you earn?
While the FiT scheme had clear guidelines on payment rates, based on various factors, suppliers have much more authority to decide their SEG rates.
Despite campaigning from the Solar Trade Association and others, including both Labour and Conservative MPs, for a minimum floor price, there is only a requirement that tariffs must be above zero. The only guarantee under SEG is that generators up to 5MW will be guaranteed payment from suppliers.
Early indications suggest that around 5.5p per kWh may be on offer. The government does say that it will intervene should energy suppliers not provide sufficiently competitive tariffs.
You can read the complete Government resolution here: The future for small-scale low carbon generation: Government response.
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