Many green householders missing out on money back offer
Many green energy users are missing an opportunity to make money out of their investment.
“The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) is a government initiative little known by consumers and is overseen by the independent regulator, Ofgem,” said Midlands expert Ron Fox.
“Basically, it is a bonus paid per kilowatt hour (kWh) for excess energy generated by renewable technologies after enough has been generated to power the home. The householder is effectively selling that extra electricity to the energy supply company who can then pass it on to other customers.
“The problem is,” he added, “is that if you have installed solar panels but have not registered for the Smart Export Guarantee, you are pumping your excess energy into the national grid for free.”
All the UK’s largest energy suppliers are legally obliged to offer the SEG, plus a number of smaller suppliers have also begun to offer this concession for renewable technologies, including photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, domestic wind turbines, domestic hydroelectricity, biomass energy from Anaerobic Digestion (AD) and micro-combined heat and power (Micro-CHP).
The SEG, which came into force on January 1 last year, is for any household based in the UK who generate their own energy, but are still connected to the grid, and have invested in any of the technologies listed above.
Although Ofgem (www.ofgem.gov.uk) administers the scheme customers need to contact an energy supply company to claim an SEG.
People will need to shop around to get the best deal as some energy firms are offering a fixed rate for the duration of the contract while others are offering variable rates with prices for both around 3-4p/kWh. He said customers would need a meter that can provide half-hourly readings for electricity export, which probably means a smart meter.
But he also pointed out that SEG replaced the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) which was closed to new applications on March 31, 2019. The latter comprised two separate tariffs – a generation tariff – a rate for each unit (kWh) of electricity generated and an export tariff – a rate for each unit (kWh) sent to the electricity grid.
He said SEG pays only for the excess electricity put into the national grid rather than all the electricity that’s generated, unlike FIT which pays for both.
For those who joined before FIT closed and are still eligible for that money Ron said they could still claim SEG but they would then lose the FIT export tariff, so it might not be worthwhile to switch if their FIT export tariff is still higher than their SEG one.
“I would encourage everyone to install solar panels if they can afford them,” said Ron, of Noreus Ltd on the University of Keele Science and Innovation Park, “especially if they live in an area with high energy rates and a suitable solar rating.
“On top of SEG there is a 26 per cent tax break is in place — and as well as helping your wallet it will also be good for the environment.”
For more details about green energy call Ron on 0845 474 6641.