The Smart Export Guarantee

Payment for small-scale electricity generation

The Smart Export Guarantee came into force on 1 January 2020. It follows on from the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme that closed on 31 March 2019, but it works very differently to FITs. It works as an obligation on electricity suppliers.

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) makes sure that small-scale low-carbon generators receive payment for any electricity they export to the grid. The scheme requires licensed electricity suppliers to offer export tariffs to anaerobic digestion (AD), hydro, onshore wind, and solar photovoltaic (PV) generators with a total installed capacity up to 5MW, and micro combined heat and power (micro-CHP) with an electrical capacity of 50kW or less. Smart export metering is an essential part of this new policy.

The SEG is an opportunity for anyone who has installed one of the technology types listed above. These installations must be located in Great Britain and be MCS or equivalent registered. You will need an export meter that records at 30-minute intervals and an MPAN number. Currently the rate is about 5 to 6p per kW hour with the best rates from Social Energy and Octopus. You cannot get a Fit and SEG at the same time.

The scheme is complex and OFGEM provides guidance – there is also plenty of help online, for example, from the Solar Trade Association.