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Government announces solar export plans

BEIS has finally revealed proposals for a ‘Smart Export Guarantee’ to replace the export tariff, which is due to finish at the end of March this year. The Government’s export tariff currently pays home owners and small businesses for providing energy, such as solar power, back to the grid.

There had initially been huge condemnation of the Government for not having anything in place of the export tariff and the expectation that small scale generators would consequently be giving unused energy to the grid for ‘free’.

Electricity suppliers with more than 250,000 customers will now be required to offer generators a price per kilowatt hour for exported electricity, at prices decided by them and reflecting the market. There are a few caveats - the installation must be installed by an MCS installer and all exports must be metered.

The long term goal would be for smart metering and half hourly settlement pricing, which ties in with the larger view of the smart electricity network, but tariffs reflecting these may not be available immediately. A Government consultation is now underway to seek industry views on the proposals.

ECA is pleased the Government has now recognised small scale generators should be paid for providing power to the electricity network. ECA is following events and will be contributing to the consultation.