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Feed-in-Tariffs explained


What are the UK feed-in-tariffs?

The UK feed in tariff is the rate of money paid by the government to homeowners, business and organisations such as schools and community groups. This was set up for installations of small scale green energy to generate their own electricity using solar panels. Homeowners could receive up to 1,000 a year depending on the size of the PV array (solar panels).

How does the feed in tariff work?

You get paid by the generation of your electricity (generation tariff) and for giving unused generated electricity back to the National Grid (export tariff). The level of payment depends on the technology and whether it is being fitted to an existing home, or installed as part of a new build. In the UK, future payments for the feed in tariff are guaranteed for the next 20 years for solar electric panels and are linked to inflation.

How do I know if I am eligible for the scheme?

The scheme is available if you have solar PV panels (roof-mounted or stand alone). You will only qualify using a solar product and installer certified under the government's microgeneration certification scheme.  You will also require an Energy Performance Certificate for your home with a Level D or above rating.

The rate per kWh available for the generation tariff decreases every year so the rate you begin on will depend on when you join the scheme.

I had a solar panel system before 15 July 2009. What will I receive?

People who have already got a small electricity generation system will only receive a flat tariff of 9p per kWh.

Where does the feed in tariff money come from?

The money comes from the government, with payments made via the utilities companies.

How does the UK scheme compare to other countries' feed-in tariffs?

Germany introduced feed-in tariffs in 2000. Like the UK's new tariff, the German scheme differentiates rates depending on technology type, size and site, and the rates are designed to decline over time.

The level of payments in Germany have fallen considerably since the scheme's launch, and earlier this year were controversially cut by another 15% for solar PV.  France adopted the feed-in tariff system in 2001 and announced earlier this year that it would increase rates for solar photovoltaics integrated into the fabric of a building.  Their rates are currently higher than that of the UK. 

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