The Smart Export Guarantee: The Only Guide You Need
Following the success of the Feed-in tariff (FiT) - which ceased at the end of March 2019 - many people were left questioning whether this would be replaced. Good news! From 1st January 2020 the government will be introducing the Smart Export Guarantee in Great Britain.
The FiT proved a success in the UK. At its end in March 2019, National Statistics showed that there had been an increase of 6% compared to the end of March 2018 for the number of installations, with solar PV being responsible for nearly all of these installations. Which? have claimed that ‘solar panel installations have plummeted’ following the conclusion of the tariff. And, over half of their customers have said that they wouldn’t have bought their solar panels without the tariff.
In an announcement by the government at the beginning of June 2019, the Smart Export Guarantee will be aimed at residential and business owned renewable energy generators who produce extra energy from their systems. Suppliers with over 150,000 domestic customers will be required to set up a tariff in which they will buy energy from you at a variable rate, dependent on the wholesale price of energy, and sell it to the national grid. When there is a peak in electricity usage in the country on the national grid you could be paid more for your energy than at a time when there is little need for extra energy.
Because companies can set their own prices, it will be the responsibility of the homeowner to find the best deal. Most companies are expected to offer their tariffs at the end of this year, but Octopus are already offering their tariff - Outgoing Octopus - and E.On are trialing their offering. Both of these companies are currently offering more per kWh exported than the FiT. The units sent to the grid will be tracked by smart meters which must have the ability to report to the supplier every 30 minutes.
Despite this announcement, people are still turning to battery storage to store their own extra renewable energy for use by themselves at a future time, aiding self-consumption and reducing energy costs. This is something even being done by energy giants Scottish Power on a large scale, with plans recently approved for them to construct a battery site next to its onshore windfarm in Whitelee. This would allow greater resilience and flexibility for the National Grid with the ability for it to be fully charged in less than an hour.