Introduction to FIT
In order to promote the deployment of small-scale renewable energy installations in homes and businesses around the country, the UK government introduced a Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme to that pays you for the electricity generated.
There is also a complimentary scheme for heat generation called The Renewable Heat Incentive scheme.
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The scheme pays an amount of money to you for all the electricity produced from your renewable energy product, plus an additional payment for the electricity you don’t use that you export back to the National Grid.
You need to complete an application to an accredited FIT Licensee which is usually your current electricity supplier who also manages the payment to you.
History of The FIT Scheme
The scheme started on 1st April 2010 with payments for generating and exporting electricity to the National Grid. Initial payments were high with up to 50.67p/kWh paid on retrofit solar photovoltaic equipment. Under current plans, the Feed-in Tariff scheme in its present form is due to be replaced in April 2019. As yet, no alternative plans are in place at this time.
Current Usage Data
The take-up of the scheme during the past decade has been strong. The UK now has 814,662 registered users (R) with an average installed capacity of 7.13kW. More schools and local communities are coming onboard to create clean business energy and benefit from the financial help that this scheme offers.
The adoption in the short time of operation now sees 5,959,420kW of capacity installed around the UK with the majority of installations being solar photovoltaic (PV). Here’s the breakdown:
- Anaerobic Digestion (AD) 408 (0.05%)
- Hydro Electricity 1,077 (0.13%)
- Micro Combined Heat & Power (CHP) 517 (0.06%)
- Solar PV 805,177 (98.84%)
- Wind Turbines 7,483 (0.92%)
FIT Payments and Tariffs
You get paid a FIT payment in two ways in addition to the benefit from the savings made from using the electricity you use from your renewable energy product rather than purchasing it from your energy company.
- A payment for generating the electricity even if you don’t use it.
- An additional payment for the electricity you don’t use that you export to the National Grid for others to use.
Standard Solar Photovoltaic Rates
You are guaranteed the rate for 20 years or 10 years for CHP. Each quarter the starting rates reduce by RPI inflation, although the figure you receive rises with inflation over the duration of your agreement.
The table below shows the FIT rates since 2015 for the three main types of solar energy installations.
The biggest change for the rates came into force on 15th January 2016 when the government cut the subsidiary for all FIT rates due to the lowering of the cost of investment in renewable technologies.
The different rates depend on the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and how many installations you have in total as follows:
- The higher rate applies with an EPC of level D or higher issued before commissioning the solar PV, and you have less than 25 installations.
- A middle rate indicates the same as the higher rate for those with 25 installations or more.
- The lower rate is applicable in all circumstances if you did not have your EPC issued before commissioning the installation.
Wind Turbine Rates
The table below shows the FIT rates payable on electricity generated from wind turbines.
Export Tariff Rates
You also receive a payment for the amount of electricity in kilowatt hours generated from your green energy. Smart meters accurately calculate this amount. Non smart meter buildings get paid on a fixed 50% of the electricity generated.
|Renewable Type||Date Range||Payment p/kWh|
|Solar Installations||1st April 2010 – 31st July 2012||3.57p|
|1st August 2012 to date||5.03p|
|Non-Solar||1st April 2010 – 30th November 2012||3.57p|
|1st December 2012 to date||5.03p|
Apply For FIT Support Tariff Rates
For most people and small businesses, you make your application directly to your existing electricity supplier. Almost all companies have accreditation, but check first before you commit any investment into your programme.
There is now a monthly deployment cap on the number of applications (R) so it’s best to either check the queue or apply early. Before you make your application, you’ll need to get access to some data. You need to provide the following:
- A Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) Certificate
- Your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
- VAT number if you’re a business applicant
- A valid email address
- Bank account details with sort code and account number
- A current meter reading
Latest Feed-in Tariff News
Gaia-Wind, a Scottish supplier of small-scale wind turbines went into liquidation in March 2018 citing uncertainty of the Feed-in Tariff incentive scheme that is due to cease in April 2019.
References & Resources
We’ve marked certain references in the above guide with a (R) to show the source of the data provided. Below are additional resources and further reading on this subject.
Supplier Application Forms for FIT
The application forms you need for the main energy companies are below.
- British Gas (PDF)
- EON Energy (PDF)
- ScottishPower Online
- SSE Electricity Limited Online
- EDF Energy Online
- Npower (PDF)
These two additional resources provide more information as well as a handy calculator to show you how much you can earn from the Feed-in Tariff scheme.