The Feed In Tariff

The Feed In Tariff

The UK Feed-In Tariff is an incentive introduced by the government to encourage people to generate their own low carbon electricity.

The idea is that, as a homeowner, you receive a payment for every unit of electricity you generate. You can use all the free electricity you generate and, if you generate more than you use, you sell the additional energy to your electricity supplier for a minimum guaranteed rate.

Government targets
The UK government has an ambitious target to generate 15% of all electricity from renewable technology by 2020 and recognised that an incentive was needed to encourage homeowners to come on board. The UK Feed-In Tariffs were introduced in 2010 to provide that incentive.

Various renewable technologies qualify for the UK Feed-In Tariff. Solar technology, however, has a particularly attractive rate. Every kWh of electricity generated qualifies for payment under the Feed-In Tariffs, and the payment is fixed for 25 years.    

If you do the sums, you will be able to work out how quickly the payments (plus the free electricity you will be able to use) will recoup the initial cost of the PV system.

Changing rates
The rate paid for electricity under the UK solar Feed-In Tariff has recently been reduced, and the new lower rate will apply to any installation carried out after 12 December 2011.  You do still receive a payment and you will still benefit from reduced energy bills so there is still a good incentive to consider solar PV panels.

To work out what the exact benefits are, go to www.energysavingtrust.org.uk

Certified systems
Be careful though. In order to quality for the Feed In Tariff, both the contractor installing the system AND the Solar PV System itself must be registered with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). All Redland Solar PV Systems are MCS registered, but check with the installer to make sure they also hold the certificate.