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Leaving Utility Warehouse but keeping FIT account with them…experiences?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
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crommcromm Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
Hi,
I currently use Utility Warehouse and they are nowhere near the cheapest. However, they do provide FIT payments which we need for our solar panels. I am looking to leave them and get our gas and electricity provided by a cheaper provider. Unless I’ve missed something, all of the cheapest don’t have the facility to do FIT payments so I checked the UW terms and conditions. It appears that I am within my rights to have them continue to provide FIT payments but get my gas and elecrtricity from somewhere else (as long as the new supplier doesn’t do FIT payments). This is the relevant Term:

  • [FONT=&quot]You take your electricity supply from Us (unless you receive your electricity supply from a supplier who is not obligated to and does not make payments under the feed-in-tariff scheme or if you are not connected to the main electricity network); [/FONT]

I am guessing (call me a cynic!) that in reality it is more difficult than this and before I stir the hornet’s nest I would be very interested to hear from other people who have done the same thing, so I can know what to look out for.

Many thanks for any information or experiences!

Cheers,
Crom

Replies

  • EricMearsEricMears Forumite
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    cromm wrote: »
    I am guessing (call me a cynic!) that in reality it is more difficult than this and before I stir the hornet!!!8217;s nest I would be very interested to hear from other people who have done the same thing, so I can know what to look out for.
    No, it's very straightforward.

    Your FIT contract with Utility Warehouse was for the full 25 (or 20 if more recent) years and unless you decide you want someone else to handle FIT payments the original contract will stand. The restrictive conditions about whether or not you can join the scheme are simply that and not conditions for remaining with it.

    When our SPs were installed we were with Scottish Power so applied to them for our FIT contract. We've changed suppliers at least twice since then but FIT remains with Scottish Power. I guess I could change to someone else who pays out faster but it's no great problem having to wait two weeks after reporting quarterly figures to get the dosh.
    NE Derbyshire.
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  • ASavvyBuyerASavvyBuyer Forumite
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    cromm wrote: »
    I am guessing (call me a cynic!) that in reality it is more difficult than this and before I stir the hornet’s nest I would be very interested to hear from other people who have done the same thing, so I can know what to look out for.

    When we had our Solar PV system installed in 2015, EDF were then our supplier for electric & gas.

    Our FIT contract is still with EDF as they are very prompt payers (usually within a week; sometimes just a couple of days after providing readings).

    However, we have used Eon, Iresa and now Octopus as our electric supplier. Gas we get from Zog.

    There has never been any issue with changing supplier affecting our FIT contract with EDF.
  • crommcromm Forumite
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    Fantastic, thank you both for your helpful comments. I will try to think less cynically! ;-)


    One potential complication is that I have just received my latest bill and we've actually generated more electricity than we've used this month - which is great. However, I don't understand how this will work in practice if I move away. The problem that I foresee is that Utility warehouse pay us a "generation" price of about 50p / KWh for electricity that we generate against what we use with them. But they then appear to pay us an "Export" Price of about 3.5p / KWh for any electricity that we don't use and that is exported to the grid. Clearly there is a huge discrepancy between those two KWh prices and it begs the question that if I leave UW then how does this payment scheme continue...will I have to send in meter readings for the electricity I've used (as well as the FIT meter reading) to UW even though I won't be charged by them for it?
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    cromm wrote: »
    Fantastic, thank you both for your helpful comments. I will try to think less cynically! ;-)


    One potential complication is that I have just received my latest bill and we've actually generated more electricity than we've used this month - which is great. However, I don't understand how this will work in practice if I move away. The problem that I foresee is that Utility warehouse pay us a "generation" price of about 50p / KWh for electricity that we generate against what we use with them. But they then appear to pay us an "Export" Price of about 3.5p / KWh for any electricity that we don't use and that is exported to the grid. Clearly there is a huge discrepancy between those two KWh prices and it begs the question that if I leave UW then how does this payment scheme continue...will I have to send in meter readings for the electricity I've used (as well as the FIT meter reading) to UW even though I won't be charged by them for it?

    Your supply and generation contracts are separate from each other. Like others, I have my FITs paid by EDF and I am now with Octopus for my electricity supply.

    Your FIT rate was set at the time that your system was registered. The FIT payer pays you on behalf of the Government (managed by Ofgem). Every consumer pays something towards the cost of FIT payments on their supply bills.
    \
    You will not have to send in any supply meter readings. What the FIT payer is interested in is the reading from your generation meter. Unless you have an export meter, then the FIT payer will credit your account with an export payment for 50% of the electricity that you have generated. If, for example, you were growing cannabis in your attic and 100% of the energy generated was being consumed then you will still get paid a 50% export credit even though no electricity is being exported. Similarly, if none of the generated electricity was used, then the 50% export rate would still apply. If you have an export meter - in addition to a generation meter - then you would only be paid for the electricity that is exported.
  • EricMearsEricMears Forumite
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    Hengus wrote: »
    If you have an export meter - in addition to a generation meter - then you would only be paid for the electricity that is exported.
    That would only apply if the organisation handling your FIT payments has access to the smart meter readings from your 'ordinary' supplier - and effectively if they're the same company since none of them seem to share access to their smart meters. In theory, one day they will all get sorted out but I wouldn't try holding your breath until it happens.
    NE Derbyshire.
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    BEV : Nissan Leaf e+
  • SterlingtimesSterlingtimes Forumite
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    With smart meters, you can get a reader for the FIT and one for the other services. The smart meter reader asked me how to obtain an export reading since he didn't know. With all the smart technology I get more meter readers coming than ever before.
    Solar installed 21 November 2014 > Centre of England > 3,780 Wp > 14 *270 Watt Trina panels > 14 * Enphase micro-inverters > managed by Enlighten Envoy Hub > 19° west of south > 35° pitch > tree shading to east > iBoost > Wattson Anywhere monitoring > Schneider Electric (Drayton) MiGenie smart thermostat.
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    With smart meters, you can get a reader for the FIT and one for the other services. The smart meter reader asked me how to obtain an export reading since he didn't know. With all the smart technology I get more meter readers coming than ever before.

    Another reason not to get a smart meter. I have an EV and I use about 70% of the energy that my system generates.
  • crommcromm Forumite
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    Thanks for all the information. I've just moved away from Utility warehouse but left my FIT account with them. I'll return with details of what happens next...
  • EctophileEctophile Forumite
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    When I asked EDF about smart meters and export payments, I was informed that their meters are not calibrated for export, and so cannot be used for measuring exports.


    I can only assume that this was deliberate.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
  • pinnkspinnks Forumite
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    EOn also make clear that they do not use smart meters for FiT export as they are not calibrated. They pay the standard assumed 50%
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This discussion has been closed.