The Smart Export Guarantee.

 

2019 saw the announcement that homeowners will get payment for any green energy that is sent back to the grid.
Here we look at what this means and how the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) could work for you.

What is the Smart Export Guarantee?

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) is a scheme put in place by the Government following the closure of the Feed-In-Tariff scheme in March 2019.

The SEG ensures that all energy suppliers with more than 150,000 domestic customers will provide payment for any energy exported to the grid that has been produced from a renewable energy source. Smaller energy companies may voluntarily offer a tariff scheme, if they choose to do so they will have to adhere to the same rules as larger companies.

Energy companies have been left to set their own tariffs, and the way in which their schemes will work. The only stipulation is that the payment offered must be greater than zero.

All suppliers that fall into the SEG payment category of needing to offer payments must have a scheme in place by January the 1st 2020.

How do I know if I’m eligible?

From April 2019 all installations should be eligible. If you already receive a Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) payment, and / or a deemed-export payment then you will not be able to get any SEG payment.

Your installation must be less than 5MW and energy must come from one of the following sources;

  • Solar PV
  • Hydro-electric
  • Micro-combined heat and power
  • Onshore wind
  • Anaerobic digestion

You will also need to have a Smart Meter capable of producing half-hourly readings for energy export.

Your installation must be installed to MCS standards or an equivalent such as Flexi-Orb. This includes using certified products and a registered installer.

It is important to note that you only receive payments from the moment you apply for them. Payments cannot be back dated, this will be the same if switch from one supplier to another after the SEG has started.

I already receive FIT payments, should I switch?

If you already receive a FIT payment then this is set for 20 years from the date of your installation. If you receive the FIT you will receive two payments, one is a generation payment, and the other a deemed export payment; usually assumed that you will export 50% of your generation. This scheme was set up and run by Ofgem & the government, payments are the same regardless of supplier.

These payments through the FIT scheme are likely to remain higher than the SEG payments which will be based on the exact amount of energy you export to the grid.

The SEG payments are paid out by the energy company that you purchase your energy from and are aimed at new ‘renewable generation’ customers only.

The types of tariffs available.

So far we have seen 2 types of tariff available, Fixed rate and Flexible rate.

  • Fixed Rate – The SEG payment is a set amount per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity that you send to the gird. This doesn’t change depending on demand.
  • Flexible Rate – The payment per kWh you receive as part of the SEG will change depending on demand. You are likely to see a higher payment when there is greater demand for energy on the grid, for example in the evening.

As we move towards a smarter grid is it expected that there will be many different energy tariffs available, both in terms of purchasing and selling. This could include multi tariffs where payments may vary on different days, times, and grid demand.

The amount that you get paid for exporting energy to the grid must not be below zero. You can compare tariffs from energy suppliers on the Solar Trade Associations website here; Smart Export Guarantee League Table.

I have battery storage, will this affect my SEG?

Currently battery storage is not included as a generation source. However the SEG guidance states that energy suppliers can include payments for battery storage providing the storage is co-located with a generation source. Therefore it is very much down to the individual company to decide if they would like to include export from storage, the payments for this, and how it would work. The League Table mentioned above states which energy companies are accepting storage as party of their SEG payment scheme.

If you would like to know more about the Smart Export Guarantee. Or if you would like to discuss getting solar panels installed then contact us today; Contact The Team.

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