Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) became available in the UK on 1st April 2010. Although not currently available in Northern Ireland this is under review.
Under the scheme energy suppliers have to (compulsory for big six suppliers) make regular payments to householders and communities who generate their own electricity from renewable or low carbon sources such as solar electricity panels (PV) or wind turbines.
The FITs scheme guarantees a minimum payment for all electricity generated by your system, as well as a separate payment for the electricity that you export to the grid. These payments are in addition to the bill savings made by you using the electricity generated on-site.
Once you have a microgeneration technology installed you should experience a monthly reduction in your electricity bill and then receive an income from your Feed-in tariff provider. However, if you have taken out a loan to pay for the installation you will have to make monthly repayments to your loan company.
Feed-in tariffs are designed so that the average monthly income from your installation will be significantly greater than your monthly loan repayment (with a 25 year loan).
The scheme covers the following electricity-generating technologies, up to an installation size of 5 Mega Watts:
- Solar electricity (PV) (roof mounted or stand alone)
- Wind turbine (building mounted or free standing)
- Anaerobic digestion
- Micro combined heat and power (micro CHP) (limited to a pilot at this stage).
The tariffs available and the process for receiving them vary, depending on when the technology was installed, and whether the system and the installer were certificated under the MCS* scheme. See below for further details
You will qualify for the full FIT payments if:
- The technology was installed between 15th July 2009 and 31st March 2010 and you transfered to FITs before 1st April; OR
- It is installed after 1st April 2010 using an MCS* certificated product and installer;
* The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) is an independent scheme that certificates microgeneration products under 50kW and installers in accordance with consistent standards. Any commercial or larger scale systems, over 50kW, and all anaerobic digestion installations must apply directly through the Renewables Obligation Order feed-in tariff process for larger installations (ROO-FIT) process as they are not covered by the MCS. Information on the ROO-FIT process is available on Ofgem’s website.