What are Feed-in Tariffs?
The British Government introduced Feed-in small scale (less than 5MW), low carbon electricity Tariffs (FITs) on 1st April 2010 to incentivise generation. FITs provide a financial incentive for homeowners, and consequently reduced pay-back periods for communities and businesses who are not traditionally in the electricity market, to install electricity generating technologies.
Which small-scale technologies are eligible?
- Solar photovoltaics (PV)
- Anaerobic digestion and Domestic scale micro
- Combined heat and power (micro CHP) with a capacity of 2kW or less*
How does the scheme work?
The scheme provides a fixed payment for the electricity you generate, called the “generation tariff”. It also pays for any unused electricity that you export to the grid, the “export tariff”. These payments are in addition to the savings you can make by using the free electricity generated on site.
How much can I earn?
Tariff levels are based on:
- Type of technology
- When the technology was installed
- The size of the installation
- Whether the technology was installed on a new build or existing property.
Information about the latest tariff levels are available from the Ofgem website.
- From 1st April 2012 properties are required to produce an Energy Performance Certificate rating of ‘D’ or above to qualify for a full FIT. Householders with EPCs of ‘E’ or lower (with ‘G’ being the worst) will receive a lower rate tariff. Find out more about our EPC service here.
- The technology installed must be a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) certified product.
- The system must be installed by a MCS certified installer.
- The system must have been installed after 15th July 2009 to receive full FITs payment. If installed before 15th July 2009, it may qualify of the lower generation tariff of 9p/kWh as long as it was registered for the Renewables Obligation Certificate scheme (ROCs). It will also receive the 3p/kWh export tariff.
How do I get onto the scheme?
Once your eligible generating technology has been installed you should ask your installer to register you on the central MCS database. The installer will then send you a certificate confirming MCS compliance.
You should then tell your chosen FIT supplier that you wish to register for the FIT and send them a completed application form along with the MCS certificate and the Energy Performance Certificate that shows your home has an energy efficiency rating band D or better. Your supplier will then register your installation onto the Ofgem Central FIT Register and then pay you your tariff.
Making the most of your renewable energy technology
If you live in Cornwall and are thinking about investing in renewable technologies in order to benefit from the Feed in Tariff, you might want to consider our Home Energy Audit service. One of our experts will provide an independent overview of your home’s energy use, based on its construction, current heating system and occupancy behaviours to provide recommendations for saving energy, heating your property and suitable renewable energy technologies. We will then provide you with a report that details the most appropriate products and a specification for homeowners to approach installers or undertake home improvements.
After your renewable energy technologies have been installed you should take some time to familiarise yourself with the manuals that came with the system and make sure that you understand how the controls work.
It’s important that your home or community building is as energy efficient as possible to ensure that the energy you generate and use isn’t being wasted.
After your system is up and running take a look at how you use energy in your home to make the most of the energy you’re generating – for example, if you have a solar PV system it makes sense to do domestic chores like laundry, ironing and vacuuming, during daylight hours when you can use the free electricity.
How will I know how much energy I’m generating?
You’ll need an additional electricity meter to measure the electricity that your system is generating and also an export meter to measure how much is being fed back into the electricity grid (if not deemed).
Until smart meters are rolled out, domestic FIT installations are likely to have their export deemed (estimated). This export estimate will be based on the proportion of electricity generated, which is 50% of total electricity generation for solar PV, wind and micro-CHP and 75% for hydro power.
FIT Eligible Technologies – Simple Guides for Householders
Solar Photovoltaic Panels (PV)
The South West is one of the best areas of the country to install solar PV due to its sunny climate. Solar PV is a renewable energy technology which can save money on your bills and generate an income through the Feed-in Tariff (FIT).
Generating Electricity from Wind
Wind turbines harness the power of the wind to generate electricity; the stronger the wind, the faster the blades turn, producing more electricity. The wind turns the blades which are connected to a rotating shaft which passes into an electricity generator where the electricity is generated.
Hydro-electricity converts the potential energy stored in water held at height into kinetic energy (or the energy used in movement), turning a turbine to produce electricity. Improvements in small turbine and generator technology mean that ‘micro’ (under 100kW) hydro schemes are an efficient means of producing electricity.
Understanding Feed-in Tariffs
The British Government introduced Feed-in small scale (less than 5MW), low carbon electricity Tariffs (FITs) on 1st April 2010 to incentivise generation. FITs provide a financial incentive for homeowners, and consequently reduced pay-back periods for communities and businesses that are not traditionally in the electricity market, to install electricity generating technologies.