What is Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)
Launched on 1 January 2020, and effectively replacing the Feed-in Tariff since its end in 2019, the UK government welcomes the Smart Export Guarantee. The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) is a government-backed initiative, providing payment to homeowners for exporting electricity to the National Grid.
Electricity providers which hold a SEG license, must pay SEG Generators for their low-carbon energy contributions. These new Export tariffs are meant to encourage UK homeowners to pursue renewable energies such as Solar PV.
Who can be a SEG Generator
Part of the SEG eligibility criteria means having one of the following low-carbon technologies installed: Solar PV, Wind, Hydro, Anaerobic digestion and Micro combined heat and power.
Installations must be in the UK, and your system size can’t be bigger than 5MW. No matter what type of green technology you have installed you also need an export meter. Alternatively, smart meters are even more convenient as they take readings every half hour and automatically send them to SEG licensee. If you tick the list so far, congratulations you are half way there to benefit from SEG payments.
Solar PV Systems
Installing Solar PV Panels is a way to generate low-carbon energy. Using Photovoltaic technology to convert the sun’s energy into green energy is definitely one of the most popular ways of generating your own renewable energy.
In order to benefit from the SEG scheme with Solar, you will need to have a MCS certificate. Hence why it is best to choose a MCS Accredited Installer. Your Solar PV System will also need to be less that 50kW. But don’t worry most domestic solar panel systems are between 4kW to 6kW.
As the SEG is an export tariff you will only get paid for what solar energy you sell to the Grid. This means excess energy stored in your solar batteries does not qualify, unless you export the stored energy.
Hydro Power Systems
Hydropower power is energy generated from the flow of water. Although it is less common domestically, it is still a cost-effective method of generating green energy especially in off-grid locations. If you want to apply for a SEG tariff for hydropower, you have to meet the same requirements for Solar. You will need to provide an installation certification, and your hydro system must generate less than 50kW.
Wind energy or wind power, is the UK’s leading renewable power source. Most of the UK’s wind energy comes from large-scale farms, but you can also install a small wind-turnbine at home. Wind power, follows the same guidelines for SEG as Solar PV. If your wind system produces between 50kW and 5MW, you will need to provide an installation certificate.
One of the less heard about sources of renewable energy, Anaerobic digestion, refers to energy created from Microorganisms breaking down organic waste. Waste such as manure, food or water waste. It may be an uncommon renewable energy source amongst UK residents however, it is ideal for the farming community.
Similar to Hydropower, no matter how little you generate you will need to provide an installation certificate to take advantage of SEG payments. However, anaerobic digestion is the only low-carbon source on the list that requires a separate, additional form. This can be found on Ofgem’s website.
Micro Combined Heat and Power (CHP)
Micro combined heat and power or CHP, generates electricity and heat simultaneously. Making it highly efficient and great for replacing boilers.
Micro CHP technologies only qualify for Smart Export Guarantee tariffs if their capacity is 50kW or less. Similar to solar and wind power, if your micro CHP system generates less than 50kW, you will need both an installer and an installation certification.
How Much Can I Make From Selling My Energy Back To The Grid?
Smart Export Guarantee Tariffs are not difficult to find. From Avro Energy, to Bulb, Octopus and Shell, all energy companies with more than 150,000 customers have to offer a SEG tariff. Each company will buy the renewable energy you don’t use/export, at a different rate. This is because the SEG scheme allows energy companies to decide their own rates. It is important to make sure you stay up to date to get the best deals possible. Often tariffs are better when you buy and export your energy from the same company.
The Graph above shows you the current SEG rates for July 2021. As you can see you can get paid between 1-6p per kWh for the renewable energy that you export.
Types of Smart Export Guarantee tariffs
Fixed rate SEG tariffs
Fixed rate SEGs tariffs, pay the same amount per kilowatt hour of electricity exported to the Grid. Regardless of what time of the day the energy is exported.
Flexible rate SEG tariffs
Flexible rate SEGs tariffs, pay different amounts depending on when your energy is exported. For example, within peak hours, the energy you supply to the grid is likely to be more valuable as it is more in demand.
Multi-rate SEG tariffs
Multi-rate SEGs Tariffs, offer fixed rate values for your renewable energy, however this rate varies depending on the time of the day, or the day itself. Making it a combination of a fixed rate and flexible rate SEG tariff. For example, you may have a fixed rate for weekends, another for nights and or during the day.
Battery-specific SEG tariffs
How Do I Apply For The SEG
Applying for a SEG tariff is a pretty straight forward process. Firstly, to start your application you will need a couple of things to hand including:
- Proof of your installation and verified ownership: This proof can come in the form of a paid invoice, or a letter from your installer or solicitor. If the system is part of a house you’ve recently moved into, you will need a land registry document as well as a Fixtures and Fittings form. All of which need to clearly show your name and your address.
- Proof of ID: A valid passport, driver’s licence or birth certificate showing your full name.
- Proof of Address: You will need to provide a utility bill, bank statement, council tax bill or equivalent. From the previous 3 months to verify your address.
- A Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) or Flexi-Orb certificate: Your MCS or Flexi-Orb certificate should come directly from your installer in amongst your handover pack. There you can find your MCS number, similar to MCS-01234567-A and your 11-digit Flexi Number.
- A Smart meter or half-hourly export meter reading: SEG licensees will also required a up-to-date meter reading in order to process your SEG application. They will usually ask that you submit a photo as evidence.
- A Copy of your G83/G98 form or your Distribution Network Operator (DNO) Notification: This should be provided to you by your installer.
Application forms can be found on the SEG licensee’s website. So do your research, check to see who has the current best rate, and visit their website.
Once your application has been submitted, you should expect 28 days of processing time. Your SEG licensee may inspect your low-carbon system before accepting your application. In order to sign up for SEG payments you cannot be receiving FIT export payments.
What's the difference between the Smart Export Guarantee and Feed-In Tariff?
The popular Feed-in Tariff (FIT), was a government incentive launched in 2010. Closing in 2019, the FIT covered the same five renewable energies: Solar PV, Wind, Micro (CHP), Hydro and AD. Unlike SEG, the FIT includes both a generation tariff and an export tariff. Whereas the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) provides payment for both the electricity you generate and the electricity you export to the grid, the SEG only pays you for the energy you don’t use. Making going green, less of a reward.
FIT export payments were set up by the government and were paid based on an estimate. On the contrary, SEG tariff rates are determined by the energy supplier and are based on your smart meter or export meter readings. Unlike some SEG tariffs, FIT rates are fixed.
The feed-in tariff (FIT) pays around 80,000 homes across the UK, for generating renewable electricity through systems such as Solar PV. According to the Energy Saving Trust, the average home can earn £150 per year, on top of their energy savings via the FIT scheme.
Becoming A SEG Generator
If becoming a SEG generator and reaping the rewards of export tariffs is something you are interested in, get in touch. Here at Deege Solar, as MCS accredited Solar installers, we install SEG compliant Solar PV systems everyday. Enquire today, to find out more about how you can use solar energy to power your home and earn from your excess generation. Call us on 01322 479369 or simply click enquire now to fill out our short form.