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Solar PV: UK Feed in Tariffs (FITs)

Updated: April 2019. The solar PV Feed in Tariff (FIT) came to a close for new applicants on 31st March 2019. The FIT was a tremendously successful government backed incentive administered and regulated by OFGEM that was designed to promote the uptake of renewables in the UK.

This was achieved by obliging the traditional energy companies (known in this context as FIT Licensees) to pay the owner of a solar PV system (a Generator) for the clean energy that was generated even if the energy was used on-site and also guaranteed an additional price (per kWh) for the energy that was sold/exported.

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The Achievements of The FIT

Over 900,000 early adopter UK householders now enjoy the benefits of Solar power and as a result the cost of installing solar technology for everyone else has tumbled. At scale Solar power is now price competitive when compared to older methods of energy generation such as burning oil, coal or gas and UK solar PV system designers and installers are now recognised as amongst the best in the world.

Amongst the general public Solar is easily the nations favourite method of electricity generation, enjoying a 87% approval rating and 93% of actual solar power systems owners who were surveyed by Which were satisfied with their solar power system.

Existing Solar PV System Owners

The closure of the FIT scheme to new applicants does not affect existing solar PV system owners with regards to the agreed FIT rates payable and or the duration of the scheme (20/25 years) as agreed at the time of installation.

Buying a home with Solar Installed

New owner occupiers moving into homes with an existing solar PV system and Feed in Tariff in place will enjoy the same terms as agreed at the time of installation by the original system owner (Generator). We advise that the paperwork transferring ownership of the system and the Feed in Tariff (FIT) is carried out by your solicitor at the same time as the house purchase.

Solar PV Feed in Tariff Calculations

The Generation Tariff

The solar PV generation tariff guarantees a fixed payment (usually paid quarterly) based on the size of solar PV system that is installed and the amount of power (measured in kWh) that the solar PV system generates, the power is measued using an OFGEM approved generation meter which is provided by the installer. Payments are guaranteed for 20/25 years and payment rates are index linked to inflation (using the Retail Price Index).

Feed in tariff rates are fixed based on the installation date for the full 20/25 years (+ RPI increases).

Solar PV Feed in Tariff - Export Tariff

The Solar PV Export Tariff

The solar PV export tariff applies to the proportion of clean energy that is exported (i.e. sold via the national grid mains connection for others to use) and is set at a buy price per kWh The export rate is guaranteed for 20/25 years and also index linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI).

As many residential properties are not yet installed with 'smart meters' which are able to measure the amount of solar power that is exported, export tariff payments in these situations are based on the assumption that 50% of a solar PV systems power generation will be exported. Solar PV systems of over 30kWp in size are automatically provided with a 'smart' meter that measures the real amount of power that is exported.

Solar PV Generation Meter

Key Points:

  • The Generation Tariff is based on the amount of power (measured in kWh) a system generates, this power does not need to be sold, you can use the free electricity you generate and export any excesses independently of the FIT.
  • The power you export/sell via the grid can be sold for additional profit.
  • The Feed in Tariff is applicable to all types of solar PV system but both the equipment and the installer must have been certified to UK Microgenertion Certification Scheme (MCS) standards.
  • The property where the solar PV system was to be installed must have met an energy efficiency rating of grade 'D' or above to qualify for the highest rate. An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) would have been supplied with the FIT application.
  • FIT payments are index linked to inflation, this means that if inflation rises than so will the FIT payment.
  • FIT payments are non-taxable for homeowners.
  • FIT payments and rates are guaranteed for 20/25 years.
  • Different rates are payable for different size systems (based on max power output in kWp).
  • The original installer must have registered your system on the MCS database and provide you with an MCS number.
  • FIT registration and FIT payments are handled by FIT Licensees (the participating power companies).

Talk to us:

There is no getting away from it, the solar PV Feed in Tariff (FIT) appears complicated. When updating this article although we tried to make it as user friendly as possible we quickly realised how complicated the FIT process might appear.

If you would like any further information, would like to confirm something, have questions about eligible solar PV systems or you have recently moved into a home with Solar PV system installed then please feel free to contact us

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Solar PV System Repairs

Problems with your solar power system? Solar panels not working? Established in 2007, we are one of the longest serving renewable energy companies around and experts at fixing all things Solar. Solar installers have had a rough few years and many have closed down leaving customers in limbo when things start to fail and systems start to weather and age.

Solar Panel System Repairs

If you do have an issue, any issue with your solar PV system and are currently without an installer then we can help. This includes repairs to roofs, mountings, cables, isolators, meters, inverters, batteries and connectors; anything involved with the day to day maintenance and repair of existing residential and commercial solar PV systems of any size.

You will find us very straightforward and easy to deal with, everything is agreed at the outset and delivered as instructed, at the agreed price. If all you would like, is to have your solar PV system professionally tested and or something needs to be replaced or fixed, then we hope and will do our best to ensure that you will find us to be a good choice of installer to carry out this work.

Solar PV System Repairs

Solar PV Installation & Commissioning

Need experienced hands and heads on-site? Our engineers and electricians are some of the best and most experienced in the business. We can add real value to any project through our flexibility, efficiency and the quality of our work.

Solar Panel Installers

Our solar PV installers, roofers and electricians have carried out installations of all shapes and sizes; building solar PV arrays onto most types of roof including commercial roofs and flat roofs. We have built ground mounted frames and installed solar panel mounting structures such as carports and canopies; we have safely installed solar panels on top of barns, in open fields, on factories, houses, workshops, stables, garages and sheds.

Solar PV Installation & Commissioning



Further reading and calculators related to designing, installing, repairing and maintaining solar photovoltaic and electrical systems:

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Mains Supply and Earthing Systems: Location & accessability, supply systems, earthing, bonding, labelling, installing RCDs.

Types of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System

Introduction to the different types of Photovoltaic (PV) System available including Grid Tied, Off-Grid, Hybrid and Batteryless solar PV systems.

Engineering Recommendation G98

Grid Connections for Micro-Generators including Solar PV Systems and Elecricity Storage Systems in the UK. Under 16Amps Per Phase, grid synchronised.

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Solar Panels - PV Array Calculator

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Solar Electricity - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to size a system?, What is kWp?, What is the difference between a kilowatt (kW) and a kilowatt hour ( kWh)?, How does a solar PV system work? Can I add more solar panels to my system? How do I know if my solar panels are working?

Preparing for a Solar Panel Installation

As with any construction project the success and efficiency of a solar PV panel installation comes down to good planning. Some advice for potential system owners preparing for a new solar panel installation.

Planning Permission for Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems

A solar PV installation can be classed as 'permitted development' subject to conditions and when not located within a conservation area, AONB or world heritage site.

Solar PV, Safety & The Building Regulations

Residential PV systems notifiable under Part P. Special consideration needed for Part A. A combination of serious risks for solar PV installers.

Safely Retrofitting Solar PV Roof Mounts

The things to consider before installing a retrofited solar PV system on a roof and an introduction to the type of equipment used to secure an on-roof solar PV system.

Smart Switching / Solar PV Power Switching

Available as an addition to existing solar PV systems or installed as a package alongside a new system, Smart switching puts full control of a solar PV system's power output firmly in the hands of the system owner.

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) & Electrical Glossary of Terms

An alphabetical list of many of the industry and technical terms you are likely to come across when installing a solar PV system. The glossary also defines terms that are used in roofing and electrical work as well as in solar PV installation and solar manufacturing.

Electrical Warning Signs & Labelling

A quick overview of some common electrical warning signs and labels that you might find attached to electrical equipment.

ABB / Power One Aurora Inverter Faults and Repairs

Power One, at one point were the second ranked inverter manufacturer in the world and there are many Power One Aurora Inverters installed in the UK. The most popular models being the Uno PVI-3.0-TL-OUTD and the Uno PVI-3.6-TL-OUTD.

Fronius IG / IG Plus Inverter Faults and Repairs

Fronius IG and IG Plus series inverters have LCD displays on the front of the chassis that providing it's working, will highlight any errors with the inverter or the solar PV system that it runs.

Mastervolt Inverter Faults and Repairs

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SMA Sunnyboy Inverter Faults and Repairs

SMA Sunnyboy Inverters have been widely installed in the UK, some of the most popular being the SB1200, SB2000 and SB3000. High frequency models include the SB2000HF, SB2500HF, and SB3000HF. Transformerless models include the SB3000TL and the SB3600TL.

SolarEdge Inverter and Optimser Faults and Repairs

The SolarEdge system is unique and in our opinion unrivalled in terms of it's ability to monitor system performance down to panel level. This is achieved through the installation of a small unit called an optimiser.

Sonnen Macht Inverter Faults and Repairs

The problem we often find with these inverters are damaged relays, the tell tale sign of a relay failure is an Error 19: Relay or Error 19: Relay Fault warning displayed on the inverter's display.

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