Smart Export Guarantee: what you need to know

Smart Export Guarantee: what you need to know

The UK government has designed a ‘Smart Export Guarantee’ system which is set to replace the Feed-In-Tariff (FiT) that has been removed as of April 2019. The FiT essentially guaranteed producers of renewable energy a price per KWh of electricity produced as well as a price for the excess energy that producers exported to the grid. To find out more about this, click here.

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) under law, ensures that businesses and residents that are exporting their electricity to the grid will be guaranteed payments from energy suppliers. All energy suppliers with more than 250,000 customers will be mandated to offer this tariff. Therefore this is very welcoming news for those who own solar panels or who are thinking about buying them.

This new system, the ‘Smart Export Guarantee’ is set to come into in place as of January 2020. This will mean that households or generators with systems of up to 5MW in capacity, will once again be paid for the excess electricity that they sell to the grid.

However, in the new government legislation there is no information as to what the minimum price for SME’s will be. It simply states that tariffs must be above zero. This is despite several Labour and Conservative MPs campaigning for a minimum price.

Important information for those who missed out on the FiT deadline

Several consumers who have bought or installed solar panels after April 2019 will not be receiving money for the excess electricity produced and sent back to the grid until January 2020.

A few market-leaders are however offering a Smart export guarantee well before the deadline in January. For example, Octopus, Bulb and E.On are offering payment for excess electricity to all.

Important things to know about SEGs

When the SEG comes into place there are a few things that you need to do in order to qualify for the smart energy guarantee:

  1. If you are installing new solar panels onto your home, you will need to make sure that your installer has a MCS certificate. Without being installed from an installer with this certificate, you will be ineligible to receive the Smart Export Guarantee. Therefore do your research before agreeing to anything.
  1. You must have a smart meter that can give you electricity readings every half an hour. This is the ‘Smart’ element of the guarantee. This raises a few questions regarding the compatibility of solar PV and smart readers, as This Money say 5% of solar panels do not work with smart readers, however it is necessary to qualify for the scheme.
  1. It’s worth looking around for the best price. This is expected to be part of a competitive market with some companies offering a better deal than others, just like the energy they supply. Although the legislation says the price offered must be above 0, comparing tariffs will help you find the best deal for you.

Whilst the government has not been particularly ambitious with the minimum price for electricity exported, at least solar panel owners will be receiving money for the electricity that they export to the grid. This is a step in the right direction.

If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.