Smart meters and the FIT/Export tariffs

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in LPG, Heating Oil, Solid & Other Fuels
4 replies 1.2K views
voddymanvoddyman Forumite
136 Posts
Part of the Furniture 10 Posts
Hi, I am thinking about putting in Solar PV panels and I have done a fair bit of trawling the internet for info. There is one thing I'm not too sure about. Which is this, I know that at present you get paid on the assumption that your exporting 50% on your generated electric back into the grid regardless if that is this case.
My question is, if and when these "smart meters" are fitted to every home in the UK by the year 2020 [Government statement], does that then mean that I would only be paid for the exact amount that I export into the grid and not the 50% as it is at assumed at the present moment.

Also would I still get higher FIT rate which is presently 14.38 pence

If this is this case is it still a worthwhile investment as I would obviously not be getting back the same amount of money in the future as I would now.
Many Thanks in advance for any help with this query
:D voddyman


  • EctophileEctophile Forumite
    5.5K Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    The FIT payment won't be changed - it's based on what you generate, not what you export.

    With a smart meter, they could pay you the correct amount for what you export, but only if the smart meter is programmed to measure that. Amazingly, the "smart" meters being rolled out now are often so dumb that they cannot even do that. Most are just programmed to be plain old electricity meters with a remote reading facility.
    If it sticks, force it.
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  • voddymanvoddyman Forumite
    136 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts
    Thank you Ectophile, So do you think in your opinion that Solar PV would still be a reasonably good investment, the only reason I'm thinking about this, is that i retire in 6-7 years and I'm looking at ways to keep down my electricity costs. :beer:
    :D voddyman
  • thenudeonethenudeone Forumite
    4.5K Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Solar PV isn't a good investment when measured in terms of reducing electricity. Most people can't use anywhere near half of the electricity generated, and the value of electricity generated isn't anywhere near enough to justify the cost of a solar PV installation

    The main reason to install solar PV is to get the Feed In Tariffs. From that point of view, they can still be a reasonable investment as long as you have a long enough timeframe and understand the differences from a more normal type of investment.
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  • RobwizRobwiz Forumite
    364 Posts
    An investment in solar PV is like buying forward 20-25 years of electricity at a fixed price. Say your array is predicted to generate 3000 kWh each year, you can calculate what each unit costs. That should be less than the feed in tariff on offer, so you should lock in a 'profit' per unit generated.

    The FiT will be index linked, so effectively you hedge part of your electricity bill against inflation. Whilst you may not be able to use all you generate, you get paid for it, which offsets the cost of what you import.

    It's worth investing in a monitor (I have a Wattson with the Anywhere web interface) so that you can decide when to use household appliances. If you can be flexible it's possible to use more than 50% of what you generate.

    On a good day, with careful planning and minor lifestyle changes, we are able to use 90% of what we generate. We do this by running the dishwasher, followed by the washing machine, then the oven (around lunch time) then maybe the electric mower one after the other. If the sun goes behind the clouds then I stop mowing the grass and wait until PV generation is back above 1.5 kW again. It's the opposite approach to using Economy 7, where it's best to run everything you can overnight at the cheap rate.
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