FAQ

What are FIT payments based on? The Government sets minimum FIT rates which are priced to offer around a 5-8% return on your investment, based on average calculations for an appropriately located generator. As an illustrative example only, if you’ve spent £10,000 on FIT-eligible solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, you can typically expect to receive between £500 and £800 a year in FIT-related ‘benefit’ (this benefit includes typical expected savings as a result of reduced electricity bills due to generating and consuming electricity on site).

What is an MCS certificate? MCS stands for 'Microgeneration Certification Scheme' - this is the accreditation body for renewable installations below 50kW in capacity. If your generating unit was installed after 15 July 2009 and is below 50kW in capacity, it must be MCS accredited to be eligible for FIT payments. If you are unsure if your generating unit is MCS accredited, please contact your installer for further advice.

How do I define the date of commission of my technology? This is assumed to be the date on which your generator was installed and confirmed to be working (generating).

Can I claim Renewable Obligations Certificates (ROCs) at the same time as FIT payments? No. If you have a choice between the two schemes, you must choose one only. Note: Microgenerators (generation with an installed electrical capacity of 50kW or less) from 1 April 2010, can only register for the FIT scheme (not ROCs).Small-scale generators with an installed electrical capacity above 50kW and not greater than 5MW who had applied under the Renewables Obligation (RO) for ROCs, before 15 July 2009, will remain in the RO and will not be eligible to transfer to the FIT scheme.

Can I have more than one eligible generator on a single site? If each different type of eligible generator has an installed electrical capacity not exceeding 5MW (2kW or less for domestic scale micro CHP), you’ll be able to receive FIT payments for each of your eligible generators.

Do I need to be on a green energy tariff to qualify for the FIT scheme? No, you can be on any type of energy tariff.

As I’m getting paid for exporting electricity, is it in my interests to export everything I generate? Typically, no. The FIT scheme is designed to encourage efficient use of the electricity you generate on site. This should reduce the amount of electricity you need to buy from your energy supplier, resulting in lower bills. Improving energy efficiency should enable you to export more ‘surplus’ electricity to the Electricity Network. Fixed FIT export payments will attract a payment of 3p/kWh.

Will I be taxed on the generation and export payments I receive? Householders will not be taxed on the payments they receive. Businesses and corporations should check their tax liability with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Are generation and export payments inflation-linked? Yes. Payment levels will be adjusted every year in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI).

What happens if I move house or business premises? You can agree change of ownership of your generator as part of your property sale.

Can landlords claim FIT payments for generators at tenants’ properties?

Yes. If you’re a landlord installing FIT-eligible generation at your property(s) you can claim FIT payments. You’ll need to agree provision of these meter reads with your tenants.

Can builders receive FIT payments if they install renewable energy generators at new properties?

Under the Code for Sustainable Homes, builders can claim FIT payments on new builds. The Government sees this as a good way of helping builders meet the costs of achieving Zero Carbon Buildings.

Will there be a similar scheme for renewable heat projects?

Yes, the Government intends to introduce a similar scheme for renewable heat projects in April 2011. This will be called the Renewable Heat Incentive and will cover technologies, such as air and ground source heat pumps.