For many homeowners who were interested in solar panels, the Feed-in-Tariff was a huge incentive.
It gave people an incentive to buy solar panels that went beyond the obvious benefits of reduced energy bills and carbon emissions.
You may have heard, however, that this no longer exists, or you may be wondering whether there may be a cut-off point that you may be able to beat. Here is a little more information on that infamous eco-tariff.
Does it still exist?
No: sadly, this benefit scheme has now expired. This means you can no longer request to benefit from it, and that you won’t receive it if you install solar panels.
According to the official Gov.UK website, this scheme stopped accepting applications for it after 31 March in 2019. This means that it is now approximately a year out of date.
One important stipulation, however, is that if you have already had solar panels installed and they have what is known as a ‘Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS)’ certificate, you may still be eligible, on the provision that you apply by 31 March 2020.
In order to qualify, this certificate must have been given to you by 31 March 2019.
If you haven’t qualified for this extra cut-off point, it can be understandably disappointing. However, it’s reassuring to know that the benefits of solar panels do not begin and end with this tariff.
They can significantly reduce your energy bills, and of course, soothe your eco-conscience.
Solar panel grid trade scheme
So what replaced the Feed-in-Tariff? The solar panel guide trade scheme is the incentive scheme that has started to take its place. Its official title is the Smart Export Guarantee (or the SEG).
While the majority of homeowners with solar panels are pleased with their eco-credentials and cost-cutting perks, many people still want to see an extra benefit.
This new scheme aims to carry out a similar function in utilising excess energy produced by solar panels The government also wanted to reward solar panel owners by giving back to them, especially as those who use them contribute to the grid.
As a result, there is now an obligation for energy companies (the larger ones, known as the ‘big six’) to purchase excess energy off of their customers.
Surprisingly, there is some disparity between how much energy is created by solar panels and how much customers actually use, meaning that many homeowners are not making full use of the energy generated.
It could, therefore, be well worth your time to contact your energy provider and take part in this scheme.
If the Feed-in-Tariff was a major incentive for getting solar panels this year, then don’t despair. The SEG could actually be financially beneficial to you, particularly if you are currently paying your utilities to one of the ‘big six’ energy companies.
You don’t want to be contributing to the electricity grid for free, especially when the largest electricity suppliers often charge their customers so much for the service. If you are planning on getting solar panels fitted this year, it could be well worth your time to switch energy suppliers to make the most of this scheme.