What is a Feed-in Tariff?

The Feed-in Tariff (FiT) is a government scheme that lets you earn money for green electricity you produce and sell back to the National Grid. It’s designed to encourage more people in the UK to join the green energy revolution by generating their own renewable and low carbon electricity.

You can find out more about our own FiT scheme by heading over to our Microtricity page.

How does the Feed-in Tariff work?

You can get a Feed-in Tariff if you generate your own renewable electricity through:

  • Solar panels (roof-mounted or standalone)
  • Wind turbines (building-mounted or free-standing)
  • Hydro turbines
  • Anaerobic digestion (biogas energy)
  • Micro combined heat and power (micro-CHP)

You’ll be paid for every unit of electricity you generate, with rates paid per kilowatt hour (kWh). Although Feed-in Tariff rates are set by the government, you’ll be paid by us.

Who can apply?

You can apply for the FiT scheme if your renewable energy installation meets these criteria:

  • It has a maximum output of 5 megawatts (MW) (or 2 kilowatts (kW) if you use micro-CHP)
  • It was installed by a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) approved installer
  • It was installed after 14 January 2016
  • It hasn’t been extended from an existing system

How much will you get paid?

The generation rate you get paid for your electricity will depend on:

  • The size of your system
  • The technology you install
  • The date your system was installed
  • The energy efficiency of your home

Will the rates change?

The rate you get paid for your green electricity generation is set by the government, but it may go up or down based on the retail price index (RPI).

Your tariff will be fixed for 20 years on most energy generation systems, aside from small fluctuations as a result of the RPI.

Tariff rates can change when they’re reviewed by the government. The Feed-in Tariff was cut on 1 January 2016 for new installations, although systems installed before that date weren’t affected.

What is an export tariff?

An export tariff lets you sell any extra units of energy you don’t use to power your home back to the grid. The money you get will either be based on:

  • 50% of your total electricity generation
  • 75% of your total electricity generation, if you use a hydro system
  • Your export meter readings, if your capacity is more than 30kW and you’ve got one installed

If you have an export meter and a capacity of more than 250kW, a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) could help you get a better price for your energy.

How to apply

Do a home energy check to make sure your home is as energy efficient as possible. You’ll get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which is used to work out your FiT rate. You can then:

  1. Choose how to generate your electricity: Typically, solar panels or small windmills are best suited to homes or small businesses. You should also think about how much space you have, and your budget.
  2. Find an MCS registered installer: Ofgem require all installers to be MCS accredited, and the MCS website can help you find suitable installers in your area. It’s worth comparing several quotes, as prices will vary.
  3. Install your system: The installer you choose should take care of everything for you. They’ll provide you with the technical information about your energy system – you’ll need this when you register for your Feed-in Tariff.
  4. Sign up to Microtricity: Here’s the easy part. Once your system’s up and running, sign up to Microtricity using our online form. You’ll also need to complete Ofgem’s declaration for new installations. And we’ll take care of everything else.

You can find out more about our Microtricity tariff here.

When will you be paid?

You can receive payments up to four times a year in February, May, August and November. We’ll send you a reminder to submit your meter readings, and use them to calculate your payments.

You can choose between two methods of payment:

  • We’ll credit your Ecotricity energy account (if you don’t pay by fixed Direct Debit)
  • We’ll make a payment directly into your bank account

Can you switch a FiT to Ecotricity?

Yes, just like switching your home energy plan, you can transfer an existing Feed-in Tariff to us. Just email us at microtricity@ecotricity.co.uk or call us on 0345 555 7600 to find out more.

What if you move house?

If you move home, the ownership of your renewable energy systems will usually transfer to the new owners and they’ll qualify for your FiT payments.

You’ll need to notify us of the change at least 14 days before you’re due to move.

Feed-in Tariff FAQs

Q. Is the Feed-in Tariff ending?

A. The Feed-in Tariff scheme is due to stop accepting new applications on 31 March 2019. However, if your system is commissioned and MCS certified by this deadline, you can still apply for the scheme through your energy supplier until 31 March 2020. You can find out more information on the Ofgem website

Q. Will you pay tax on the money you earn from your FiT?

A. FiT payments are tax free if you use the electricity you generate in your own home. If you’re VAT registered, let us know when you sign up and we’ll set up VAT for your export payments.

Q. What if you received a grant for your system?

A. If you received a grant to install your renewable energy, your eligibility may be affected. Email us at microtricity@ecotricity.co.uk or call us on 0345 555 7600 to find out more.