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Feed-in tariffs: cashback for generating your own energy
Many energy suppliers pay households for generating their own electricity. These payments are in addition to money you can receive for selling electricity back to them. Find out what you need to qualify and how to apply.
Update to the feed-in tariffs scheme
The feed-in tariffs scheme is currently under review and a consultation was launched on 31 October 2011 about the tariffs for small-scale solar PV (250 kilowatts or less). Please see the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) website for more details.
Feed-in tariffs: what energy suppliers pay for
If you generate your own electricity, for example with solar panels or a wind turbine, your energy supplier might pay you money for just doing this. They might provide regular payments. These are called feed-in tariffs.
Your supplier will pay you a set amount of money for each unit (kilowatt hour) of electricity you generate.
The rates for feed-in tariffs vary, depending on:
- the size of your system
- what technology you install
- when your technology was installed
- whether the technology was put in by a certified installer
Speak to your supplier to find out what exactly the rate for your technology would be.
If you produce more energy than you can use yourself, your supplier will pay you 3.1 pence for every unit you send back into the network. This money is in addition to the feed-in tariff.
How much you could earn from generating your own electricity
As an example, a household with a 2.5 kilowatt solar electricity system could earn:
- £920 per year for generating energy
- £30 per year for exporting energy
- £170 per year from savings on energy bills
This is a total of around £1,120 per year.
(This assumes that 50 per cent of the energy is exported.)
Technologies funded by feed-in tariffs
To qualify for feed-in tariffs, your installation must be no more than five megawatts peak output. Technologies covered by the scheme are:
- PV solar panels
- wind turbines
- water turbines
- anaerobic digestion (biogas energy)
- micro combined heat and power
Your technology must also be installed by a certified installer.
If you move house, you lose your feed-in tariff and the next owner or tenant will take it over.
How to apply for feed-in tariffs
Here is what you need to do to apply:
- do a home energy check to make sure your property is as energy efficient as possible
- decide which technology is right for your property - see here or talk to an expert to decide this
- have the technology installed by a certified installer
- get a feed-in tariff qualification certificate from your installer
- send a copy of the certificate to your energy supplier
- your supplier will check the certificate and let you know if you qualify for a feed-in tariff
- if you qualify, your supplier will register you and send you a confirmation
- you agree with your supplier how often they will pay you (eg monthly, quarterly)