Feed-In Tariffs

Trusted Solar Panel Installers – Lowest Prices Guaranteed. Contact us for a free no obligation quote today.

Call Freephone 0800 0588114


Is the Tariff subject to inflation?

The Tariffs are index-linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) as shown here.

Do I have to accept the 3p/unit of power exported or can I trade the electricity on the market?

You don’t have to accept the fixed price; you can opt to negotiate your export price on the market. However you will have to decide at the start of each year if you want to do this, and will then have to stick to it – you can only swap between fixed and market pricing once a year.

What is tariff degression and how would it apply to my system?

The level of the tariff applicable to systems installed in the future will decrease with time, according to annual degression rates. The degression rate is used only to determine the tariff applicable to the system based on its registration date – once you’ve been allocated a tariff that rate would apply for the full 20 years.

[For example: If you install a 4kW PV system in June 2010 you would receive 41.3p/kWhr for 25 years until June 2035. If you installed it in June 2012 you would receive 21.0p/kWhr until June 2037. From August 2012 you would get 16.0p/kWh until August 2032]

Are Feed-In Tariffs eligible for EIS and VCT tax breaks?

Yes at present, but for many this is to be stopped from 2012, further to an announcement in paragraph 2.38 of the 2011 Budget.

This says:

The Government will consult on options to provide further support for seed investment, simplification of the EIS rules by removing some restrictions on qualifying shares and types of investor and refocusing both EIS and VCTs to ensure they are targeted at genuine risk capital investments. Feed in tariffs businesses will be added to the excluded activities list.

However some concessions were made in the Treasury consultation in July 2011. This sets out the proposals for the exclusion in sections 4.16 to 4.21, including:

4.19:  Based on the discussions with stakeholders, the legislation ensures that community interest companies, co-operative societies, community benefit societies and Northern Ireland industrial and provident societies will continue to qualify, as will trades generating electricity by hydro power or anaerobic digestion.

Are renewable energy installations eligible for Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECAs)?

At present some are, but the Treasury intends to remove this privilege from all equipment eligible under the Renewable Heat Incentive and the Feed-In Tariffs. There is a consultation on this issue which closes on 31st August 2011.

The government justifies this move, saying:

the tariff levels for FITs and RHI are carefully set to provide a sufficient investment incentive, and any extra incentives to invest in these technologies is not appropriate

Which is better financially for larger systems, FITs or ROCs?

The government has tried to set the tariffs for larger systems at about the same level as the RO.

The decision on which to go for will depend on your view of the administration associated with each option, and the certainty of the price you will get under each (ROC and electricity prices are both variable and can be volatile at times).

Are the tariff levels published following the Review now set in stone?

Not necessarily! From April 2013 some tariffs (for larger systems up to 5MW) may be adjusted further depending on the equivalent RO banding. The Phase 2B Review decision said:

Generation tariffs for the largest capacity band for each technology will continue to be consistent with support under the Renewables Obligation, and will be adjusted in line with current support levels and the outcome of the RO Banding Review.

Which tariff bands will be linked to pricing under the RO?

Those tariffs for sizes up to 5MW for most RO-eligible technologies.

This approach applies to the hydro band 2-5MW and the wind band 1.5-5MW.

However, the same does not seem to apply for PV, where the government said on their decision document following the Phase 2A review:

Although the majority of respondents to the consultation indicated a preference for the approach to degression to change once tariffs reach the financial equivalent of two Renewable Obligation Certificates [the support for solar PV under the RO], our updated analysis of PV installation costs suggests that a rate of return of nearly 8% can be achieved for large scale PV installations for a tariff considerably lower than 2 ROCs.
We have therefore decided that the degression mechanism should continue to operate when tariffs reach the equivalent of 2 ROCs, to minimise the risk of investor overcompensation and to limit the total cost of FITs support.

How are tariffs linked to pricing under the RO?

You want the simple answer? Tough!

All we can do is refer you to the wording in the Phase 2B Review decision

we will adjust generation tariffs for these bands to levels we consider to be equivalent to the support currently available under the RO. These are calculated using a value of £44.78 per ROC, which is 1.1 times the 2012/13 buyout price. Generation tariffs from 1 April 2013 until 31 March 2017 will be set at a level equivalent to the levels of support provided under the RO to a 5MW plant as a result of the RO Banding Review. Tariffs for 2017/8 and beyond are set at the level of 2016/17. However we expect that tariffs will be reviewed before this time, particularly given the wider context of Electricity Market Reform, so this should be taken as an indicative position in the interim.

When would emergency 6-monthly degression apply?

If deployment in the first half of the year exceeds 2/3 of the top level of the default corridor. The Phase 2B Review decision said:

We expect that the system of annual degression will provide the basis of tariffs in the longer term. However, in order to provide additional assurance that the scheme will be able to remain within budgets in instances of extremely high deployment, we will introduce, an additional mechanism which allows a mid-year degression (the first of which could occur in October 2014) based on uptake in the first six months of the year.

Six-month deployment thresholds will be two-thirds of those for annual deployment.

Accordingly, we foresee that the six-monthly degression mechanism will only be needed in exceptional circumstances. Under ordinary deployment conditions, where a contingent degression is not required, degression will occur as normal in April only.