Last edited 19 Oct 2016

Feed-in tariff FIT

Our society is heavily dependent on fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal, and is likely to remain dependent on them for much of this century. Every year we emit more than 20 billion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels, half of which is absorbed in the seas and by vegetation, and half of which remains in the atmosphere. The impact on human and natural systems is potentially irreparable. In addition, as fuels deplete and demand increases, so supplies become more vulnerable to disruption.

The feed-in tariff scheme was introduced by the Government's Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) on 1 April 2010. Consumers who generate their own electricity from a renewable or low-carbon source can qualify for a payment (‘Feed-in Tariff’ (FIT)) for each unit of electricity generated.

Allowable technologies are:

The installation must have a peak output of no more than 5 megawatts (MW) and must be installed by a certified installer.

The feed-in tariff rate varies depending on:

  • The size of the system.
  • The generating technology.
  • The installation date.

Consumers can also qualify for an ‘export tariff’ by selling surplus electricity back to their supplier. This is estimated as being 50% of the electricity generated for most domestic systems.

The tariffs paid depend on the eligibility date, and for solar photovoltaic panels, if the property’s energy performance certificate (EPC) rating is below ‘D’, then either additional energy saving measures must be taken before solar photovoltaic panels are installed, or a lower tariff will be paid.

Tables showing the latest tariffs are available on the Ofgem website.

NB on 9 September 2015, following consultation, the government announced that they would remove pre-accreditation for all new participants in the Feed-in Tariff scheme from 01 October. Pre-accreditation allows a developer to lock in the subsidy rate well before major construction work or installation to acquire the necessary planning and environmental permits and grid connections has been completed. This means that although the subsidy level may have reduced by the time electricity begins to be generated, the developer will receive the higher subsidy agreed when the plant was in the planning stage. Ref gov.uk.

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