About The Feed-in Tariff Scheme
The Feed-in Tariff scheme (FiTs) began in 2010. The scheme offers cash payments to people who generate their own electricity using renewable technologies including solar PV panels. The government guarantees FiTs payments and the rate increases in line with inflation according to the Retail Price Index (RPI).
Have FITs payments reduced?
The initial FiT rates were generous, and the uptake of solar PV increased rapidly. As a result, in 2012 the government cut the rates for FiTs payments to control the cost. Even though the rate for FiTs payments has lowered, the cost of solar technology has reduced too. And, with rising energy charges, solar PV is still a good investment for many.
In February 2014, the government’s energy minister Greg Barker said anyone about to retire should think about putting money into solar panels, which offer a better financial return than a pension:
“Solar is a really attractive financial proposition,” Barker told the Telegraph. “You get a guaranteed tariff for 20 years and if your panel is well-sited, it could yield 8% or more. That is more than an annuity, particularly if you are in your 50s or early 60s.”
Who’s in charge of FiTs?
The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) makes government policy decisions on FiTs. Ofgem, the energy regulator, is the scheme administrator. Your energy supplier makes the FiTs payments to you.
How do I qualify for FiTs payments?
To qualify for FiTs, your solar installer and the products they use must be certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). Greensphere Renewable Energy and its products are certified by the MCS.
What tariff will I get?
The tariff you receive depends on two factors:
- Eligibility date
The eligibility date is when a solar installation becomes eligible for FiTs payments. For most renewable electricity systems, the eligibility date will be the date your FiTs supplier receives your valid application for FiTs.
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating
An EPC rates how energy efficient a building is, giving an idea of how much it’s likely to cost to heat and power. An EPC also states the building’s carbon dioxide emissions and how to improve its energy efficiency. EPCs are valid for 10 years.
Your property should have an EPC band of D or higher. If your EPC band is E, F or G you should carry out energy efficiency improvements before you apply for FiTs. Otherwise, you’ll get the lower rate FiTs payment for the life of the tariff (currently 20 years).