With the reduction in the government Feed in Tariff, now is the time to act when thinking of installing solar panels.
The Feed in Tariff is an index linked scheme to incentivise consumers to install low carbon and renewable energy technology in their homes. This happens in two ways: First, through the generation tariff, where you're paid for every unit (kWh) of electricity you generate. Once your system is registered you are guaranteed to receive the set rate of the tariff for the life of the system (up to 20 years). The second is via the export tariff, which is paid for every unused kWh you export back to the grid. The current estimation of exported kW hours is 50% of the electricity you produce. In the future, smart meters will be installed to systems to monitor production.
In January 2016, the government slashed the domestic Feed in Tariff rates from 12.03pence to 4.39pence with the export tariff remaining at 4.85pence with reviews and further reductions each quarter. Consumers must bear in mind that these rates are only available to homes with an EPC rating of D or above. An EPC rating lower than this will be given a lower rate. Deployment caps were also introduced in order to keep annual expenditure below £100m. This means if your system is installed and registered after the cap is met, you won't be eligible for the Feed in Tariff until the next quarter, with no guarantee that the rate will stay the same. The next quarter begins April 1st 2016. With these drastically reduced rates, now is the time to act for consumers looking to gain the highest return on investment on your solar PV system.
Before installing a PV system it's worth knowing you will only be eligible for the Feed in Tariff scheme if your installation is completed by and MCS accredited company. Before you install your system you should have a bespoke performance estimate completed on your home by a registered Domestic Energy Assessor. This will allow you to see how much your system could generate and what you will be paid over the Feed in Tariff duration. On average you could earn £400 a year through the Feed in Tariff if you install a 4kW system. The environmental and individual benefits of solar PV are vast, but as the scheme continues to cut the monetary incentive it's important not to delay your installation.