Under a new scheme, new UK homes and businesses which generate solar energy will be able to sell excess electricity to suppliers.
The Smart Export Guarantee will enable solar powered homes and properties running small scale renewable energy generators to claim payments for each unit of electricity which returns to the energy grid, to be tracked by smart meters. Suppliers will be encouraged to bid competitively for households’ surplus energy supply, allowing property owners to recoup the expense of installing solar panels; while increasing the proportion of the UK’s energy which derives from renewable sources, in line with the country’s newly announced target of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Energy and Clean Growth Minister Chris Skidmore said: “The future of energy is local and the new smart export guarantee will ensure households that choose to become green energy generators will be guaranteed a payment for electricity supplied to the grid. We want the energy market to innovate and it’s encouraging to see some suppliers already offering competitive export tariffs to reduce bills. We want more to follow suit, encouraging small-scale generation without adding to consumer bills, as we move towards a subsidy-free energy system and a net zero emissions economy.”
Under the Smart Export Guarantee, energy suppliers with more than 150,000 customers will be required to introduce export tariffs by 1 January 2020; Octopus Energy and Bulb Energy, alongside other suppliers, have already begun implementing smart tariffs.
Greg Jackson, Chief Executive of Octopus Energy, said: “These smart export tariffs are game changing when it comes to harnessing the power of citizens to tackle climate change. They mean homes and businesses can be paid for producing clean electricity just like traditional generators, replacing old dirty power stations and pumping more renewable energy into the grid. This will help bring down prices for everyone as we use cheaper power generated locally by our neighbours.”
The Smart Export Guarantee is set to be implemented by the end of December 2019.