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Feed-in | Green and Alternative Energy Information

Good news on grants and feed-in tariffs

Many schools and community groups are being told they can claim the feed-in tariff and keep grants received under the Low Carbon Building Programme, following months of uncertainty.

Under threat of having to pay back their grant many organisations faced financial difficulty. Their calculations prior to investing in wind turbines or solar PV panels had anticipated receipt of grant and the feed-in tariff. For those who had fundraised for years to get the project off the ground, the idea of more fundraising to pay back the grant was devastating.

So, after months in limbo, waiting for a ruling on EU law on state aid, last week’s  announcement from DECC, has brought relief to many.


Selling the electricity you generate

The feed-in tariff has made it simpler to sell the electricity you generate, but don’t use in the house, back to the grid. It has set standard rates to be paid for electricity generated which are dependent on type of technology and size of system, and all exported electricity is paid at 3p per kWh.

Choosing your energy supplier is the key to selling excess. The reason it is simpler now is that under the previous system all the suppliers offered different buy back rates, and these had to be weighed up against the rates at which they sell electricity, so it was complex to work out the best deal.

Now all the big energy companies must buy back exported electricity from microgeneration, and some of the smaller ones have chosen to. If price is your key factor, then there’s no shortage of price comparison sites available.

If it’s important to you that the electricity you buy from the grid is from renewable sources you can use our guide How to buy renewable electricity.


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An update: Feed-in tariff for early adopters

Prior to the general election, the Conservatives promised that early adopters of microgeneration technologies would receive full feed-in tariffs (and not the much lower 9p rate currently on offer). Since the coalition government formed there has been a deafening silence from Whitehall on the subject. 

We’ve just had word that it is still on the agenda. The following is an extract of a letter sent from DECC to a YouGen user’s MP:

“As we set out in the Coalition Programme of  Government, we have committed to establishing a full system of FiTs for  electricity. As part of this, we are currently looking at features of the  FiTs scheme to see what changes we may need to make; always bearing in  mind, of course, the difficult fiscal position in which we now all  operate.

“We are working to announce decisions on  FiTs, including the eligibility of early adopters of small-scale, low-carbon electricity technologies for support under the scheme, as soon as  possible.”

The good news is that it’s still on the agenda – they haven’t ruled it out. The bad news is that “as soon as possible” is quite an elastic time frame and, of course, the reference to the difficult fiscal position!

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