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System Installed 09/09/2008

FITs & Grants Latest information 15/11/10

For those readers who signed the 10 Downing Street Petition 2008/9 you may like to read the response received from the present coalition Government 27/10/2010 Read the Governments response

Solar PhotoVoltaic Energy
ROCs pre 7/09 & FITs post 4/2010
Changes which will took place as of 1.4.2010

For those of you that have already sent your documents /details to OFGEM and had an automated reply there is no need to worry.

My phone call to OFGEM of today 30.09.2010 was answered and it was confirmed that where a generator has deposited completed ROCs2FITs registration forms these will be dealt with in due course OFGEM are aware they are holding up payments to generators and I'm assured that they are dealing with applications as promptly as they can.
If you have deposited paperwork and not heard anything from them, as happened to me then you should contact them by e-mails asap to confirm they have received your documents.

So what's going on
:-In short the labour Government's interference will set the minimum price that Energy Providers (companies supplying gas & electricity to domestic users )are obliged to pay for generated and exported energy. Minimum tariffs for energy generated on PV Microgeneration systems will be set by the Department of Energy and Climate Change as set out in the Energy bill of the Renewable Heat incentives FITS which is being included in the energy bill

So why was FITs introduced
Well this information has been extracted from Ed Miliband's submission to the European Parliament

However, the banding of support within the RO does not provide sufficient incentives to small-scale renewable generators to encourage widespread uptake. For this reason, in the Energy Act 2008 the Government took powers to introduce a Feed in Tariff for renewable electricity technologies up to 5MW and non-renewable CHP systems up to 50 kW.

So it's admitted that installers of PV were not receiving sufficient support under the ROs scheme and then the Government have the gall to exclude us from full FITs payments, what a shambles.

As of 1st April 2010 the Labour Governments Energy bill 2008, secondary legislation 'Renewable heat incentives' (FITs 15/7/2009) was given Royal Accent and therefore become law on the 8.4.10
This section of the energy bill covers the incentives for all types of green energy, however I'm only concerned with PV Microgeneration aspects and I'm sorry to say that all systems installed prior to 15/07/09 are really going to feel the effects of the changes being introduced.

However this does not stop energy companies from offering a higher price for energy if they wish, which is permitted under the conditions set out in the Energy bill, although at present 23/4/10 they appear not to be offering anything different from the min payments under FITs payments, and when you think about it , what incentive is them to do so?
They know full well that the owners of PV generators installed pre 15/07/09 will either have to sell at the minimum price set out in FITs or not register for FITs and basically only get benefit from the energy they generate and use in house, which few of us can afford to do.
And so although the energy bill implies that a higher price may be available, don't hold your breath because I think it will be a long time coming, after all how many of US would pay more if we could get it for less?

So how are you going to make up some of your loss?
Well you may like me choose to play the Energy providers at their own game and seriously look at the amount you are paying for your Imported energy.

I for instance have gone to a new tariff within the same company, Southern Electric, reducing my peak import tariff by 3.2 pence per KWh and reducing the other two tariffs E7, it may not sound a lot but as with the Microgeneration it does add up and bear in mind this is more Per KWh saved than they are prepared to pay us for a KWh exported .
However be aware that a lot of energy companies are attaching penalties to these accounts if you terminate them before the contract period. So read the Conditions, before committing.
My new energy import account is called 'Go Direct 3 Economy 7 No Standing Charge' Internet account only.
It really will pay you to review the charges within you present companies tariffs and or shop around.
I now understand that SE have a Go direct 4 E7 account but the fixed term of 12 months or penalty prevents switching again to get an even cheaper rate.

Also it's worth bearing in mind that with the larger Companies you can now sell you energy to one company and purchase from another where as previously it was normal practice for the company to whom you sold your energy to require you to purchase your imported energy as part of the contract.
Why not compare prices see if you can save on your present bill,
Southern electric Compare prices, simply put in your post code and fuel's type

Some smaller Energy Suppliers are honouring previous tariffs such as Eco-Tricity and I understand will take on new, pre installed 15/07/09 systems/customers but remember this will require you to buy your energy from them, and the payment made is a total payment of 16p per KWh as recorded on your TGM, when this is worked out against such companies as EDF and Southern Electric there are only pence in the overall annual income. But do check their import tariffs before making your decision, these smaller companies invariably charge considerably more for your imported energy, which clearly means 'what you save on the roundabouts you loose on the swings', contracts are normally valid for 12 months

So what you will be paid for generated energy will now depend on when your installation was commissioned /completed.

To get the FITs tariffs Pre 15/7/09 installations must have been registered for ROCs prior to the 31st March 2010, then as from the 1.4.10 your generator will be automatically be eligible for registration in the FITs scheme, albeit you will have to notify OFGEM of the company you have associated your micro generator with, this notification and registration must have been done by the 1st October 2010 .

If you have registered then remember to retain the TGM reading's you took on the 31st March 2010 as qualifying systems will be paid FITs by the company you have associated your generator/ with, back dated to the 1st April 2010 they must also have agreed to accept you as a generation Customer.

OFGEM will in turn notify the energy Company if your system is eligible for FITs payments or not.

Post 15/07/09.Phase 2 installers remember if your generator was installed between 16th July 2009 and the middle of February 2010 and you received a grant, your organisation or company must repay the grant to the grantee before OFGEM will qualify you system for FITs. payments.

(Post 15/7/09 Phase 1, Domestic Premises receiving the grant up and until is was stopped in February 2010 you are allowed to retain the grant)
In both cases you must still have registered your system for ROCs during the interim period by the 31st March 2010, whereupon you will be automatically switched to FITs, but you still have to complete the ROC2 FITs application forms to OFGEM. before the 1st October 2010.

It is the energy Company you have associated your generator with that makes the Payments under FITs.
Having done that and after OFGEM have confirmed with the energy Company the eligibility of your PV system, you will then receive the 9p for every unit (1 KWh) as recorded on your total generation meter TGM which forms part of your own installation.
Note also that the amount of energy recorded on your TGM will earn 9.4p whether used in house or exported.
Also if you have an
export meter all recorded KWh will be paid for at 3.1p per KWh.

If you don't have an export meter fitted then the energy bill deems you to have exported 50% of your generation and you will therefore receive 3.1p per KWh for 50% of the TGM recorded annual generation.
So in practice a 1000 KWh's of energy generated & recorded on your TGM will be worth 90.00 + 50% of 1000 = 500 @3p :-15.00 making a total of 105 per 1000KWh generated.

Sending your completed forms to your contracted energy company and OFGEM.

For those of you who have e-mailed your completed forms you should have received an automated e-mail reply from OFGEM, Having waited just on a month for a formal reply of confirmation that we have been switched onto the FITs register I contacted OFGEM, they have informed me that they have had a considerable number of applications and will clear the back log as soon as possible when both the generator and the contracted energy company will be informed, so provided you receive the automated reply and save a copy there is not need to worry at this point, you will receive information in due course.
One year into the FITs programme
Well we are now 0ne year into FITs and apart from the Retail price index related increase in price , no other changes for pre-fits installers have arisen ,none so deaf as those who do not want to hear! The only thing I have noticed is that the service which was be provided by companies has deteriorated drastically to the degree that I have now switched my imported and microgeneration account to ECO-Tricity from SSE
This Company is still offering 16 pence per KWh as recorded on your total generation meter, but pays noting extra for the exported energy whether recorded on an export meter or deemed.
This never the less increases the payment you receive with only a small proportion of the gained income going to imported energy costs.
In effect I will spend approx 60 extra on imported energy per annum due to the unit cost but the increased revenue will be approx 200.00 still leaving an increase in income of approx 150.00. You do now as with most energy companies have to take your imported energy from Eco-Tricity but with the smaller customers base the difference in customer service can already be seen.
Remember if you have your imported energy on a contract you will have to wait before you can switch , your microgeneration account but then it can be switched very easily by simply following the guidance in you contract.
If you are a pre 14/7/2009 installer and are still on the standard FITs tariff of 9.4p and 3.1 p and are interested in changing to Eco-Tricity then dial 08000 302302 and ask to put through to microgeneration, you will find their staff most helpful and they will be able to answer all your questions, having given my present company notice Our accounts are scheduled to be transferred on the 12th of May 2011.
Your system will still remain on the OFGEM register and if for some reason you want at a later date to switch to an alternative company you can still do so, obviously you would be returning to the standard FITs tariffs

Post 01/04/10 installers will receive full FITs payments appropriate to the KW rating of their system.

Should you have an Export Meter fitted?
One word of warning consider very carefully before getting an export meter fitted, if you have a standard 2.08 KWh PV system fitted then there is every change that you will use more than your 50% of the energy your system produces, in that case if you have an export meter fitted and the meter records that you have only exported 30% of the energy generated then that is all you will get paid for, in that case you are better of with the DEEMED 50% and your income will be greater than the actual amount exported.

In our case we have a 4.16 KW system and export up to 75% and so an export meter is beneficial or we would loose out.

What the implications of not being registered for ROCs or FITs
You will only benefit by using the energy you generate 'in House' with no other support, in some cases where the property is not on mains electricity, the generated energy can be stored in battery banks, although of course there would be considerable cost implications due to maintaining and replacing batteries.

All of the above changes of which we weren't warned are of small consolation to those of us who ventured in to Solar energy PV (Microgeneration) pre 15/07/09, albeit in our case to genuinely reduce our carbon footprint for the benefit of our Grand children, that we continue to do irrespective of the financial implications.

Prior to the General Election the Conservatives said they will include all Microgeneration PV systems in the new FITs tariffs, if they got into power? But remember that's a promise before they are elected, can we trust them to keep their word? We will see.
Well as I thought The answer is a Big NOOOOOOOOOO

Quote To: 'Bert' Cc: LOUGHTON, Timothy
Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2010 10:22 AM
Subject: RE: FITS payments devastating to pre 7.09 PV system installers
Mr Rowe
We are shortly to produce our energy policy paper, which will outline Conservative proposals in this area in greater detail. In the mean time, I can assure you that under a Conservative government, any micro-generation technologies that have already been installed before the commencement of the Feed-in Tariff in April 2010 will be eligible for the new higher tariffs once they commence.
I hope this is of some comfort to you.
Michael Stott
Office of Charles Hendry MP
There was still ambiguity in the answer I was getting and so again mailed Charles Hendy's office, Below is the mail I received in reply :- Quote
----- Original Message ----- From: STOTT, Michael To: 'albert.rowe@ntlworld.com' Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2010 10:40 AM Subject: FW: FITS amendments
We had previously said we would only give the full Feed-in Tariff to those who had installations put in without support from the LCBP (as you underlined in red below)
We are now saying LCBP support or not, you will get the full Feed-in Tariff.
Michael Stott
Office of Charles Hendry MP
Shadow Minister for Energy
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
0207 219 3553
I hope seeing this e-mail in writing will encourage you to write to your MP's to bring this to their attention
Bear in mind that Charles Hendry MP was the Shadow Minister for Energy & Climate Change and is now the Minister for that Department.

Is there any wonder that the general public have lost faith in MP's they would sooner fiddle their expenses and buy duck houses than provide a level playing field for PV installers.
The excuse we have been given for not including us at full FITs was that the government couldn't afford it. That was total rubbish as it's not the Government or any department of public office is financing the FITs payments Its the Energy Companies who have been given no option.
One big government con of the highest order.

Things Have moved on since 2009
Well of course things have moved on since I added that information to the page in 2009 with the Government of the day moving the goal posts without any consideration for those that had already committed large sums of money to green energy.
However we will survive even though the income from the solar has been drastically cut we being a pre- 15/07/09 installer.
We have taken steps to alleviate some of the loss by for instance having a water meter fitted, this is done free of charge and as far as I can see at present will reduce our water rates by as much as 100 PA, even though at present the South Coast is very dry and we are having the water the vegetable plot.
However before you jump to do the same look at the numbers in your family and look at your water bill as it stands at present.

Southern Water prices
Initially water looks cheap @0.93p a Cubic meter (1 tonne)However it costs another 1.77 per cu meter or tonne to dispose of it back to the water company, the amount of water 'Returned to Sewer' in our case is 92.5% of the metered imported water, albeit far less than than is returned due to our large gardens and pond which this year has needed topping up almost daily due to the evaporation. None of which of course is 'Returned to Sewer', the same applies to children's inflatable swimming pools which are normally emptied onto the glass or garden area and yes the larger ones hold hundreds of litres.

On top of that combined figure you have of course the normal standing charges for both Water Supply & Waste Water disposal.

In addition you may dependent on the layout of your guttering have a service water drainage charge plus a charge for Highway drainage which we all have to pay.
You can if your guttering goes to your own soak-a-ways, claim a rebate for the surface water drainage charge which in our case would be 22.00 PA
So before you jump, do your homework and using your water companies figures calculate the costs involved, but do remember in the long term we will all finish up with water meters, and if you move into a New or Used house now it will be fitted with a water meter.
I can now confirm that we did save over a hundred pounds on our annual water bill, using in total 98 cu meters during the year 2010/11but I tress we are a couple and not a large family albeit we do have a garden pond to top up and a large garden with vegetable plot
How can you get

How do you get the best from your investment?

Now with the FITs payments having kicked in do your washing on sunny days during the day time, this way you are using energy produced or at least subsidised by your own system AND for which you will be still be paid.

I was surprised to see that during the Low E7 period since changing to British summer time our systems have generated 68KWh, So careful management of your solar system and use of domestic appliances can bring rewards.

How else can I save money.
Dialling 0845 0844, 0870 and similar numbers can cost you more than the cost of a local or regional telephone call, and if you on a single monthly tariff contract with your telephone internet/provider, regional and local calls would be included in that tariff, but you will have to pay extra on you monthly bill if you dial these premium rate numbers as well as mobiles So to avoid these premium rate numbers, visit this site and look for alternative numbers, a lot of companies also have 0800 free call numbers but don't advertise them, this site will give you those numbers Alliance & Leicester is just one example:- www.say noto0870.com another tip is that companies that don't advertise a regional UK number quite often give a number when calling from overseas, just delete the 0044 and insert just one '0' in front of the number shown, that will be a regional number for that company
Beat them at their own game and same

Copies of correspondence/ pre-FITS installations. Return to page 1
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