Financial Boost for Small Solar Schemes

SOLAR PANEL INSTALLATIONS could be set for a boost with a government policy change poised to require large electricity providers to offer a tariff for small-scale solar power exports.

Under the government’s smart export guarantee (SEG), electricity suppliers which have more than 150,000 customers will be required to offer at least one tariff for power exported to the grid from renewables smaller than 5mw, though smaller suppliers are not excluded from offering tariffs too.

The SEG replaces the export tariff, which was scrapped in April 2019 along with the generation tariff under the government’s feed-in tariff scheme, and comes in on 1st January 2020.

Scheme eligibility

In order to be eligible for a tariff under the SEG, the solar installation must be certified by an approved scheme, such as the microgeneration certification scheme, which ensures that high installation standards are followed. households and organisations will also require a smart meter in order to take accurate export readings.

STA chief executive Chris Hewett said: “It’s a new year and a positive new start for owners of small solar PV systems. After a nine-month policy gap, the new smart export guarantee should help boost interest in solar as leading electricity suppliers compete with each other to offer attractive payments for clean power exported to the grid.

“As more and more households take steps to do their bit in the fight against the climate emergency, we hope that today’s SEG launch will have a positive impact on the market and help the solar industry to build on our track-record of a million solar homes delivered to date.”

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