July 22 (Renewables Now) - The Solar Trade Association (STA) in the UK is urging the Big 6 energy suppliers and smaller players to present export tariff offers for small producers like solar households in advance of the government-set deadline in 2020.
In June, the UK government introduced new laws that guarantee payments from energy suppliers for homes and businesses that export green electricity to the grid. The so-called Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) applies to small-scale producers with solar, wind or other forms of renewable generation not exceeding 5 MW of capacity. It places a legal obligation on energy suppliers with more than 150,000 customers to set export tariffs by January 1, 2020, while smaller energy companies are encouraged to do so voluntarily.
“As the UK moves towards net zero and the 'smart' transformation of our energy sector we hope that suppliers will see good strategic reasons for accelerating meaningful offers and we urge them to do so as soon as possible,” said Chris Hewett, STA chief executive.
The STA has launched an online SEG League Table to make it easier for solar households to identify the best offers on the market. For now, however, it contains only one listing -- that of Octopus Energy, which is offering a flat-rate of GBP 0.055 (USD 0.07/EUR 0.06) per kWh and a variable rate pegged to the half-hourly wholesale rate. Only domestic customers can take advantage of that offer, so for now commercial and community energy groups lack route-to-markets for small-scale power exports, the STA pointed out.
“We want competition to develop to buy the power solar homes put onto the grid and, if suppliers are not able to enter this market, we want to hear from them about any barriers they are experiencing,” Hewett added.
The organisation calculates that with a fair market-rate export tariff and a competitive supply tariff, a solar household would be able to save some GBP 400 per year thanks to the combination of a reduced electricity bill and income generated by power exports.
(GBP 1 = USD 1.25/EUR 1.11)