What is the Feed-in-Tariff
The Feed-in Tariff scheme (FiTs) has been introduced by the government to kick start small scale renewable electricity generation within the UK.
This scheme requires licenced utility providers to pay a financial incentive to all small scale electricity generators irrespective of where the electricity is used. The current levels of FiTs as of 1st April 2011 are as follows:
|Technology||Installation Size||FiTs per kWh||Export Tariff per kWh||Duration|
|Solar PV||Up to 4 kW new site||37.8p||3.1p||25yrs|
|Solar PV||Up to 4 kW retrofit||43.3p||3.1p||25yrs|
|Solar PV||Between 4-10kW||37.8p||3.1p||25yrs|
|Solar PV||Between 10 – 50kW||32.9p||3.1p||25yrs|
To access the feed-in-tariff both equipment and installer must hold accreditation under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme Non-MCS certified installations will not be eligible to the feed-in-tariff. As shown in the table above the feed-in-tariff is payable for 25 years index-linked for inflation.
The equipment to qualify for the MCS certification has to be able to produce 80% of its original rated power after 25 years, but will continue to generate beyond that point.
The equipment requires no maintenance as the panels have self-cleaning glass but will benefit from an annual wash down. The inverters, which convert the electricity into a usable state, will usually need to be replaced once over the 25-year period.
PV purchase methods
There two primary methods of obtaining a Solar PV system, they are:
- Capital Purchase
A PV system is purchased outright and owner takes full advantage of the FiTs payments.
- Rent your roof
This is where a supplier will provide and install, normally at zero cost, a solar PV system on to your building. The supplier will normally retain the FiTs payments over the 25 year life but the building owner should at least benefit from free generated electricity. If the supplier offers to sell the generated electricity at a reduced price to the building owner, be aware that this does NOT offer best value. Energy Savings Trust offers good advice on rent your roof schemes advice on rent your roof schemes