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What is the Smart Export Guarantee?
With the Feed-in-Tariff, certain homeowners were funded for every single unit of electricity they generated. However, following the closure of the scheme to new applicants, in March 2019, the government recognised the necessity to pay small-scale renewable energy generators, for the electricity they exported back to the grid. Therefore, the Smart Export Guarantee was created in January 2020.
Which renewable energy installations are eligible?
There are a couple of renewable energy installations that are eligible for the Smart Export Guarantee. These tend to be wind turbines, hydro, anaerobic digestion and solar PV systems up to 5MW, or micro combined heat and power systems that have an electrical capacity of up to 50kW. Although in most cases, domestic systems will be within these limits.
The renewable energy system and installer you use must be certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme. To prove your installation meets this requirement, you may need to present an MCS certificate to your energy supplier. Additionally, you will need a registered smart meter, to record your exported electricity.
How much will I receive for exporting electricity?
It is up to energy suppliers to decide what tariffs they offer their customers. With there being no minimum tariff for the SEG, the only requirement is that the tariff is greater than zero.
SEG tariffs have the potential to be fixed or variable. When considering a fixed tariff, the money that customers receive will be determined by a set rate, for each kWh of electricity exported, throughout the course of the contract. A variable SEG tariff will determine the price, depending on market demand, with the condition that prices never fall below zero.
Can I combine SEG with other grants and financial support?
SEG payments are not linked to other financial support around renewable energy installations. Therefore, it is possible to receive additional financial help, at the same time as SEG payments. However, the one exception is that, if you are still receiving payments under the FIT scheme, you cannot claim SEG payments as well. Although, you can opt-out of your FIT export payments and receive SEG payments instead, while continuing to receive FIT generation payments.
SEG and energy storage
Even if you have an energy storage system, as part of your renewable energy installation, then you can still apply for SEG. Although, there might be some different rules, depending on your contract.
It is possible for your battery, to store electricity from the grid, before exporting it later. This is known as brown electricity, which energy suppliers might potentially pay for. However, some energy suppliers might only pay for green electricity, which is the electricity your low-carbon system generates itself. In this instance, your supplier might need to see how you go about separating the green electricity from the imported, brown electricity.
Alternative finance arrangements
On top of SEG, suppliers offer deals, by paying customers a set amount for the electricity they export to the grid. Every deal has the chance to be varied, as each one is tailored to specific households. As well as, ensuring that you are purchasing your electricity from the same supplier, to uphold a deal, you may need to have your generation and supply metered.
Homeowners are still able to get a FREE boiler grant or insulation grant via the ECO scheme, which is still available to households that qualify. Warma UK are currently working throughout the UK helping privately owned and rented homes to improve home energy efficiency and save money on rising energy bills.
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