Feed in Tariff
There are three separate ways that the Feed-in-Tariff helps you make money from generating your own energy through your solar pv panels.
1) The generation tariff. You earn a fixed income for every kilowatt hour of electricity you generate whether you use yourself in your property or export it to the national grid.
2) The export tariff. You earn an additional fixed income for every kilowatt hour of electricity you sell back to the grid.
3) The bit you still buy from your electricity supplier. When you can’t generate enough electricity for your needs (if the sun doesn’t shine) you still buy electricity from your utility company at the normal rates but it’ll be much less electricity than you currently buy.
New Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) applications for solar PV will need to demonstrate that the building to which the solar PV installation is attached or wired to provide electricity has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of Level D or above to receive the standard rate of FiTs. Click here for the latest FiT rates via the Ofgem website.
Energy Performance Certificates and the Feed in Tariff
To receive FiTs at the standard rate for Solar PV, property owners are required to send to their FiTs supplier an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) showing their property at Band D of better at the time of application.
If an EPC which shows a property at Band E, F or G, energy efficiency improvements need to be carried out before the application for FiTs is made or the installation will receive the FiT at a lower rate for the lifetime of the tariff, currently 20 years.
If a property is at Band E or less when first applying for FiTs then the application shall be paid at the lower rate. Note; If improvements are made to a property after the initial application to Band D or higher at a later date, the lower rate is still applicable.
Why is this a requirement now?
This new requirement has been introduced by the UK Government because they want to ensure that homes meet minimum standards of energy efficiency before they encourage the installation of Solar PV.
What is an EPC?
Much like the multi-coloured sticker on new appliances, an EPC shows how energy efficient a building is and gives it a rating from Band A (very efficient) to G (inefficient). They let the person using the building know how costly it is likely to be to heat and power, and what carbon dioxide emissions there will be. Once produced EPCs are valid for ten years.
If the property was purchased after 1st October 2008 an EPC should have been received from the builder (for a new build) or seller.
No Existing EPC
If there is no existing EPC on a property, the Energy Saving Trust provide a Home Energy Check (HEC) (http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/In-your-home/Home-Energy-Check), but please note that the Home Energy Check report is not valid as an EPC and if an EPC is obtained for a property a different rating to that stated in the HEC may be obtained. The HEC report is intended for general guidance only and not as a substitute for the application of a professional expert.