What Happens Next – Post Feed-in Tariff (FITs)?

On 31st March of this year (2019), the Government Solar PV Feed-In Tariff incentive scheme will come to an end, and as such installers will not be able to access these incentives through registration with Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).

Obviously, this a monumental change in the renewable market. At HIES, we feel that this shouldn’t be something to worry installers. This should be seen as an opportunity to work towards achieving higher levels of self-consumption to make their offering attractive to consumers.

This article is to shed some clarity on five key questions that keep occurring in our conversations with our installers.

1. What is going to happen post FITs?

Well, one thing is for certain, there isn’t going to be U-Turn on the decision, even if Claire Perry MP (Energy & Clean Growth Minister) did suggest it would be “wrong” to provide solar for free back to the grid.

So please ensure all registrations for FITs are completed by March 31st, 2019.

Perry agreed “that solar power should not be provided to the grid for free” and the government would be working on the next steps for small scale renewables. Those next steps will come in the form of the Smart Export Guarantee.

2. What is the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)?

SEG is the proposed replacement for government-backed Export Tariff. SEG’s focus is to ensure that small-scale generators are remunerated for the electricity they export to the grid.

The guarantee scheme in practice would see a legislative change to ensure all large energy suppliers (250,000+ customers) will have to remunerate small-scale generators for the electricity they export to the grid. In simple terms, energy providers will pay monies for the energy generated. However, there are still some questions unanswered that HIES have fed back in our consultation (SEG Response).

3. If there is no access to FIT, do I need top register with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) for solar and storage?

To the best of our knowledge, the short answer is no.

According to the Napit website: “You can carry out microgeneration work under CPS alone (e.g. without joining MCS), this would demonstrate your competence and allow self-certification in England and Wales but you would not meet the eligibility requirements for Feed-in-Tariff.” 

Translating this in a post FITs world and until SEG begins, as MCS is not a government body and nor is it a UKAS accredited certification scheme, we cannot find a reason for you to pay the £30 to register your solar and storage products with MCS. This may change when SEG is introduced.

For access to the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), you will still need to comply with MCS requirements. 

4. What should I register post FITs?

At HIES we recommend you continue to register every renewable product with an oversight body for consumer safety. HIES will continue to offer your consumers protection for any financial, legal and insurance issues that occur during the guarantee period.

We also recommend for the safe and controlled deployment of energy saving, generating and storing products and as a simple money-saving alternative to MCS, you use register all installations for free with Flexi-Orb.

HIES has recently joined Flexi-Orb for a complete Solar & Storage Solution (read more here: HIES joins Flexi-Orb). Creating a central data entry registration system for Solar PV, Storage, Inverters and EV Charging Points. Registration and membership to Flexi-Orb will remain free throughout 2019 and provides a quick link to DNO’s, manufacturer’s, certification bodies, consumer codes and IBG providers.

5. What new products should I consider post FITs?

We firmly believe that consumers want to take control of their energy destiny. They want to reduce their energy bills and safeguard themselves from future energy price rises. Solar PV & Energy Storage combinations are two leading technologies that achieve those aims.