What is the Smart Export Guarantee?
After the closure of the Feed in Tariff (FiT), the government introduced The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) which launched in 2020. The scheme allows growth in electricity generation from green microgeneration technologies.
How does the Smart Export Guarantee work?
Licensed electricity suppliers can offer a tariff and make payment to small-scale low-carbon generators for electricity exported to the National Grid (considering certain criteria are met).
The following low-carbon, renewable technologies are eligible for the SEG:
- solar panels (solar pv)
- wind turbines
- hydro electricity
- micro combined heat and power
- anaerobic digestion
If you decide install any of the above renewable generation for the home, you should be eligible for the SEG tariff, providing you meet certain criteria.
- Your installation must be 5MW capacity or less (50kW for micro-CHP).
- You need to take electricity readings from your meter – this is going to be easier if you have a smart meter installed, which will automatically take the readings for you.
- Your installation must be MCS-certified.
Savings on electricity bills
Every kWh of electricity that you create yourself and then use in your home means that you don’t need to buy that unit from the electricity company. Electricity is currently priced at about 15 pence/kWh when you buy it from any of the big six energy companies, so the more electricity you produce and use in your home, the more you save.
Smart Export Guarantee registration
In practice in the UK, the energy companies with over 150,000 customers (British Gas, EoN, SSE, Scottish Power, EDF and NPower, etc) are required by law to provide the SEG to homes and businesses. Other smaller electricity suppliers may not offer the SEG as it is not compulsory for them to do so. The full list of registered SEG licensed suppliers is available on the OFGEM website here.
Once you have the product installed through the MCS, you should receive a certificate confirming MCS compliance. Speak to your energy company that is approved for the SEG – express your interest in receiving the SEG. Your supplier will confirm your eligibility, cross checking your details to the MCS database. On confirmation of the SEG your details will also be added to the OFGEM Central SEG Register.
You may also need to agree a process for meter reading and whether you want to opt out from export tariffs. An important point to note is that it is far more economical to use as much of the electricity you produce in the home as you can, rather than selling it back to the grid. Using a kWh of the electricity you produce in your home saves you buying it from the energy suppliers at 15p, while you can only sell it back to the grid for 4.77p.