How to Claim the Feed In Tariff

The feed in tariff scheme has been up and running since April 2010. Anyone installing solar panels, wind turbines or other renewable electricity producing equipment may be entitled to claim the tariff payments, but what is the application process?
Much of the work should be done by your installer and your energy provider between them, but it’s worth understanding the process and ensuring that everything is being dealt with properly.

What Do I Need to Qualify for the Feed In Tariff?

You’ll need to have installed qualifying renewable electricity producing technology, so solar panels, wind turbines or anaerobic digestion. The installation must have been carried out by a Micro Generation Certification (MCS) approved installer and the equipment itself must be MCS approved.
The system must be no more powerful than 50kw, though this is far larger than would be necessary for a domestic installation, which would typically be no larger than 3kw. Lastly, an Ofgem approved installation meter must be installed and, when the system is connected, the Distribution Network Operator for the area must be notified. The DNO is the local electricity company for the region the property is in; for example, in Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales it would be SP Manweb, in the Midlands it would be E.ON. Your installer should serve the necessary notice.

How Do I Register for the Feed In Tariff?

Once the system, including the generation meter, has been installed and notice has been given to the DNO, it is necessary to register the system. First, choose who you want your supplier to be. It is only the major energy companies who are obliged to pay the tariff, although some smaller companies have chosen to pay it also. Obviously you will need to buy your electricity from whichever company is paying the tariff, so you need to make sure that your chosen provider is a part of the scheme.
You’ll need to provide an opening meter reading from your generation meter. Your energy company should then register you with Ofgem’s central register for the feed in tariff. Ofgem will then review and approve your application and issue you with a contract incorporating the terms and conditions. You’ll need to sign this and return it.

How Do I Receive the Feed In Tariff Payment

As part of your agreement you’ll need to submit meter readings. On submission of the readings, you’ll receive payment, either by cheque or bank transfer. Payments will usually be made quarterly. An assumption will be made that 50% of all energy generated is exported back to the National Grid and the additional export tariff payment will be made on this basis.