Solar Panel Feed In Tariff

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
9 replies 935 views
Juju76Juju76 Forumite
3 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
I was contacted this morning via a mobile phone from someone at the Energy Trust asking me about solar panels I had fitted two years ago. They asked if I was getting my feed in tariff money from my energy provider. I checked my documentation and admittedly I never applied for the feed in tariff, I never read the paperwork correctly. My energy bills decreased and I assumed that was how it worked, I didn't realise I was suppose to do an extra application as I didn't read the red print on the final documents that came in from Solar Panel UK. Call me an idiot but the whole scheme befuddled me. So this person on the mobile phone told me to call my energy provider and I did, I called British Gas and asked about it and they said back in January this year they stopped taking applications for the feed in tariff. So I'm confused, why did this person on the mobile call me to tell me to apply? I've tried ringing back this number listed on my caller ID and no one picks up. What is going on? Am I being scammed? Is it too late? The Ofgem website is confusing me and British Gas are obviously not going to help.

Can anyone help? I'm stupid to have lost this opportunity, add it to the list of financial mistakes I've made over the years, but I'm not this much of an idiot!

Replies

  • ajbellajbell Forumite
    1.2K Posts
    ✭✭✭
    Wow, that is an expensive mistake.
    Not sure if you can apply now for the current FIT but it would be a tiny fraction of what you would have got 2 years ago.
    4kWp, South facing, 16 x phono solar panels, Solis inverter, Lincolnshire.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
    28.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Welcome to the forum.

    The solar experts all post in the Green and Ethical section of MSE. I have opened a new thread there for you - see

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5564890

    Keep your eye on both threads
  • macmanmacman Forumite
    48.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    You don't have to use BG for FIT's, even if they are your supplier. Any of the Big Six, and many others, will handle them for you.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • SystemSystem Forumite
    177.9K Posts
    10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    This was the policy as of March 2016:

    All existing renewable energy installations with an MCS certificate issued before 15th January 2016 must submit their Feed-In Tariff application by 31st March 2016 or they will never be able to claim any Feed-In Tariff or Export payments.

    I haven't seen anything to suggest that it has been updated. I hope for the OP's sake that it has.
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
    12K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Juju76 wrote: »
    Can anyone help? I'm stupid to have lost this opportunity, add it to the list of financial mistakes I've made over the years, but I'm not this much of an idiot!

    I'm afraid Hengus is right. Previously you could have applied for FiTs at any time, and you would have received the rate applicable at the time of the application, or to be more precise, the date when the FiT provider has received a complete and proper application.

    However, you've come up against the 31st Mch deadline to clear any installs before the most recent major revision to the FiT scheme in January.

    Did your installer advise you on applying for FiTs? It's a long shot, but you could try to blame them? Perhaps worth checking with your DNO (District Network Operator - manage and maintain the local grid) to make sure that they were notified of your PV system which should have been done (by the installer) within 28 days (I think?) of the install.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • Martyn1981 wrote: »
    Did your installer advise you on applying for FiTs? It's a long shot, but you could try to blame them? Perhaps worth checking with your DNO (District Network Operator - manage and maintain the local grid) to make sure that they were notified of your PV system which should have been done (by the installer) within 28 days (I think?) of the install.

    You may have a point, I never head from them again after it was done. I got a letter in the post and I can see what I was supposed to do but they didn't follow up to make sure I'd done it. I suppose technically it's not their fault. The whole ordeal confused me and I was very busy starting a new job. Definitely my mistake and I throw my hands up. I'm not sure what I can do about it. Complain to the company? When this person called me this morning they said they've had a lot of cases like mine so perhaps there is an investigation going on.
  • ajbellajbell Forumite
    1.2K Posts
    ✭✭✭
    Juju76 wrote: »
    You may have a point, I never head from them again after it was done. I got a letter in the post and I can see what I was supposed to do but they didn't follow up to make sure I'd done it. I suppose technically it's not their fault. The whole ordeal confused me and I was very busy starting a new job. Definitely my mistake and I throw my hands up. I'm not sure what I can do about it. Complain to the company? When this person called me this morning they said they've had a lot of cases like mine so perhaps there is an investigation going on.


    I am afraid its entirely your fault, the installers in my case did however sit down with me at the end of the install and make sure I had all the paperwork necessary to start the process.
    You did pay for the panels didn't you? or were they one of these rent a roof schemes?.
    If its rent a roof scheme then you were not entitled to the FITs but if you paid for the panels then you probably just said no to £20k.
    4kWp, South facing, 16 x phono solar panels, Solis inverter, Lincolnshire.
  • ajbell wrote: »
    I am afraid its entirely your fault, the installers in my case did however sit down with me at the end of the install and make sure I had all the paperwork necessary to start the process.
    You did pay for the panels didn't you? or were they one of these rent a roof schemes?.
    If its rent a roof scheme then you were not entitled to the FITs but if you paid for the panels then you probably just said no to £20k.

    Nope, not a rent a roof scheme. Paid for the panels with a loan they set up. I wish they'd given me more time to research it properly before we agreed to have it done. The whole experience was a blur.
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
    12K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hiya, I've been pondering this, and thought of an idea, but it's very complex and I'm 99% sure it won't work, or can't work, but let's throw it out there for you to consider.

    What if you got another installer to replace the panels? OK, it's crazy, but here's my idea. The system hasn't been registered for FiTs, and the MCS certification is linked to the panel serial numbers. Plus all the hard work has been done.

    So, as panels are cheap(ish) perhaps £120 each (depends what you have), and are pretty easy to remove and replace, possibly from a ladder if the installer is brave and uses a safety harness, then this could be quick and cheap(ish).

    You then get a new commissioning certificate, and apply for FiTs now, at the much lower rate (unfortunately) of 4.18p/kWh.

    Why do I think it's 99% unlikley? Well, would another installer do this? Would they be happy to certify the work and kit on site? Can it be done without scaffolding? Would it actually be cheap including time and paperwork? Is it fair and legal (don't even consider this unless it's 100% proper)? Is it even worth doing it .... throwing more money down the drain?

    I'm completely spitballing here, but thought I'd throw it out there just in case, however, if it was me, reading this (from me!!!!) I probably wouldn't investigate the idea.

    But, on a 1% chance, I thought it worth publicly embarrassing myself with a daft suggestion, just in case.

    All the best. Mart.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Energy price cap could be extended beyond 2023

New plans have just been announced by the Government

MSE News

Cheap contents insurance for tenants

DON'T assume your landlord covers you

MSE Guides

Summer sizzlers round-up

Incl £2ish sun cream & £1.50 disposable BBQs

MSE Deals