Feed-in Tariffs (FITs)
Available to those who installed a renewable or low-carbon electricity source (such as solar panels or a wind turbine), under the UK Government’s Feed-in Tariffs scheme (FITs), you may be eligible to earn money from your energy supplier.
You’ll be paid for the electricity you generate, even if you use it yourself, and for any surplus electricity that you export to the national grid.
The scheme was introduced on 1 April 2010, ‘Feed In Tariffs’ took the place of UK government grants as the main financial incentive to encourage uptake of renewable electricity-generating technologies.
Who is eligible for FITs?
Most domestic technologies qualify for the scheme, including:
- Solar electricity (PV)
- Wind turbines (building mounted or free standing)
- Anaerobic digesters
- Micro combined heat and power (CHP)
For you to qualify for FITs, the installer and the products you use must both be certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), except hydro and anaerobic digestion which have to go through the ROO-FIT process. The tariffs you receive depend on both the eligibility date and, for solar PV, your property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating.
The benefits of FITs
If you’re eligible to receive FITs you’ll benefit in three ways:
Your energy supplier will pay you a set rate for each unit (or kWh) of electricity you generate. Once your system has been registered, the tariff levels are guaranteed for the period of the tariff (up to 20 years) and are index-linked.
Your energy supplier will pay you a further rate for each unit you export back to the electricity grid, so you can sell any electricity you generate, but don’t consume. This rate is the same for all technologies.
Energy bill savings
You’ll also save on your electricity bills as generating electricity to power your appliances means you won’t have to buy as much electricity from your supplier. The amount you save will vary depending how much of the electricity you use on site.
How can I apply for FITs?
Once your chosen installer has fitted your generating technology, there are a few more steps you’ll need to take to register for FITs:
Ask your installer to register you on the central MCS database. The installer will then send you a certificate confirming MCS compliance
Tell your chosen FITs supplier that you wish to register for the FITs and send them a completed application form, the MCS certificate and, for solar PV, the EPC that shows your home has an energy efficiency rating of band D or better.
Your FIT supplier will:
- Cross-reference your installation with the MCS database and undertake other eligibility checks
- Confirm your eligibility and the date you are eligible for payments from
- Add you to the Ofgem Central FIT Register, which records all installations in the FIT scheme
- Agree with you if and when you will need to provide meter readings and when they will make FIT payments to you – these will form part of your statement of FIT terms
Information taken from the energy saving trust.