What do Energy Suppliers Pay for Generated Energy for New Solar PV Installations?

Since the government chose to end the feed in tariff scheme on 1st April, does anyone know what, if anything, energy suppliers will pay for generated solar energy for a new installation?

So far I have had a local solar installer telling me that no one is paying anything for generated solar, and someone from customer services at my energy supplier (Ovo) telling me that they are still paying the same amount as before April 1st. This is all rather confusing.

Also, I believe that the government is planning to introduce legislation to ensure that energy companies pay something for the generated energy from 1st Jan 2020 so I’m not sure if the smart thing to do is to wait until then before getting a solar PV installation done.

Does anyone have any advice?

Feed In Tariff has finished for new applications, so OVO may be referring to those already on the scheme

It’s due to be replaced with the Smart Export Guarantee in January, enabling anyone with a smart meter to participate - not much detail around right now. Octopus and Bulb I think do offer this now as part of their challenger proposition,

So, the theory is that if you generate your own electricity (by PV etc) then you can sell it to the grid, but eventually it may also allow users to sell their stored electricity (via home and vehicle batteries), back to the grid at peak times.

Here’s hoping!

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Hi @Locky. Yes I get the impression that OVO customer services did not actually know what they were talking about here. My feeling is to wait to see what the legislation says in January before getting a solar install done. Do you think that is a wise move?

I’ve been thinking of fitting solar some some years but want battery storage so I don’t need to export to the grid…unless it’s a mega sunny day !. But (always one of those) I want my house to stay lit if the grid goes down and I’m not certain that happens. If anyone can confirm this safe switch over works and who provided your solar / battery system I would be grateful to know their details please

@John_Riley has some experience of using battery storage and EV. Perhaps can help answer your question?

My main concern is Does the stored energy (in the battery pack) power the house during a grid failure ?. We get quite a few power cuts but I don’t fancy sitting in the dark when the batteries are topped off. I guess it works on detecting the sine wave so once that fails it isolates my home from the grid so we don’t electrocute the grid engineers. As I’ve got a 5ppKw deal at night Im thinking if the batteries are not filled via the panels I could top them off at 5ppKw overnight and use that instead of paying 15ppkw during the day, I don’t know how long I would get but any saving is just that, a saving !. What do you think ?

Hi @Steven23. A battery system will power your home during a power cut. Of course, how long you can do this for depends on your usage. For example, say your battery pack is around 10kwh. A typical home oven will be 2.5kw so that means you could blast the oven continuously for 4 hours before running the battery flat. So for normal usage, a battery can take you through any power outage. From your tariff though it sounds like you may be using electrical storage heaters (on Economy 7) and these are usually 2.5 - 5kw each so bear this in mind.

With regards to charging the battery over night from the grid and then using the power during the day, I think this is not something that comes as standard but there is no technical barrier to this. It might be worth talking to the folks at Social Energy as I believe that this is something like what they do.

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Nope standard gas boiler with Nest controller we use the cheap rate to charge our cars. I assumed the solar controller would be smart enough to switch to grid to feed the batteries once the PVs finish collecting power

Ok, @Steven23, from what you are saying it seems like, yes you will be fine during a blackout. Your batteries will be enough to power you normal electricity needs.

As for the solar controller charging the batteries from the grid during the night, my understanding is that this does not happen in a normal set up. However, since you are already using off peak electricity to charge your cars, I assume that you already have a controller to automatically start / stop that charging. That controller (or something similar) could also charge your home battery. You will need to speak to an electrician though, I’m not an expert.

Also, whether this is economical depends on the difference between the rate you get for your generated solar and the night rate. After all, if you are charging the batteries over night, as soon as the sun comes up all your generated solar will go straight back to the grid rather than being stored in the battery.

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Nope the car charging can be set within the vehicle, we just leave it plugged in and at 0030 off it goes !

That’s pretty neat. Can your car be used as an energy source for the house?

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Actually, I have learnt a bit more about this since I posted on this topic. It’s not actually the case that a battery system can power your home during a power cut. This is because, the electrical regulations forbid you making the wires live whilst the power is off. This is to enable engineers to work on the cables without risking being randomly electrocuted by people’s solar PV / battery installations.

What is needed is something that isolates your home from the grid during a power cut. You can then safely power your home from a battery. The Tesla Backup Gateway is a product that can do this.

This video explains it well https://youtu.be/gP51JjnWvLo