Our new data shows for the first time that the average FiT generator will be better off on smart export

Houses with solar have been paid for the electricity they generate since 2004 when Good Energy created its HomeGen scheme, which became the blueprint for the government’s Feed-in-Tariff (FiT), launched in 2010. 

Homes’ total generation figures have been available throughout this time via manual meter readings, but robust data on the electricity these generators exported to the grid is now available for the first time thanks to our roll-out of smart export metering, which we have now introduced for over 70,000 customers. 

How much power do FiT generators share? 

The data shows that the average UK home with solar panels on its roof shares the majority of electricity it generates back to the grid. The first of its kind finding is based on smart meter readings from more than 900 domestic solar customers over more than 12 months, with a mix of install sizes and geographic locations. It shows an average of 60% percent of the electricity generated is exported or shared to the grid for others to use.

The FiT scheme offers a 50% export payment for non-smart metered generators, regardless of how much a solar household shares back with the grid or uses itself. This figure was set when FiT originally launched, and was based on an assumption about how much power these microgenerators would use. The FiT closed to new registrants in 2019 to be replaced by the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), but is still by far the largest scheme under which small scale solar generators can be paid for their power. 

What does this mean for FiT generators? 

Our new research shows that the average FiT customer will be paid more on smart export than on the deemed export that was standard under the scheme. 

There are over 870,000 FiT accredited generator customers in the UK with a total capacity of just under 6.5GW — about double the planned capacity of Hinkley Point C — and Good Energy serves more than 20% of these. That makes us the largest voluntary administrator of the FiT scheme — testament to our having nurtured and investing in serving this important part of the energy system. 

A major part of our investment has been into smart export, under which the new data shows a typical solar household will earn more as they receive payment for their actual export, likely to be more than the 50% deemed amount. The majority (80%) of FiT export payments in Ofgem’s most recent report was at this deemed 50%, meaning most FiT generators will now be better off by switching to smart export Good Energy. 

Good Energy also offers a standalone smart export tariff for Feed-in-Tariff and non-Feed-in-Tariff accredited microgenerators alike, Solar Savings, which pays 15p per kilowatt hour for exported power or 20p for customers who install their solar through Good Energy. 

Read more about our data analysis

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