One of the most talked about debates surrounding renewable energy in the UK concerns the Feed-in Tariffs. The scheme allows people to generate their own electricity by harvesting energy from the sun and wind. However, critics argue that the Feed-in Tariffs could lead to energy prices sky rocketing, with no benefit to the consumer whatsoever. The main argument put forward against the scheme is that the price signals are unreliable and this could artificially depreciate the energy of the sun and wind, ultimately causing a spiral of ever-increasing prices.
How do feed-in tariffs work?
However, these critics would do well to remember the dark days of the seventies when the deregulated system allowed huge energy companies to take advantage of the lack of regulation. In order to make up for the lack of regulation, these companies would have to jack up the price of gas and electricity, something which would seriously crimp the energy of ordinary families. Not only this, but the energy companies were able to Dodge paying taxes by shifting the blame to consumers. This has left consumers with the bitter after-effects of the Deregulated Electricity Market. However, this does not mean that the Feed-in Tariff is bad, it is just one of the many options available to customers and there are positives as well as negatives involved in this.
First of all, there are several different types of properties that can qualify for Feed-in Tariffs. These could include flats, houses, townhouses, farmhouses, and even mobile homes. Furthermore, you can also receive the feed-in tariff if you are a home owner, meaning you would not have to pay any upfront charges. However, there are a few eligibility conditions. These would require you to be an apprentice engineer, or a member of an appropriate employers’ body. As well as this, the proposed scheme would also require that the location you live in supports renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and wind turbines.
There is a cap on the number of units you can start generating, so those who wish to build a large excess should look to invest in a ‘closed system boiler’ or one that runs only on night-time or very low power rates. You will also have to ensure that any excess power produced will be fed into the national grid, and then into the electricity mains. If you produce more energy than you use, then you will receive a proportion of the surplus.
What is the smart export guarantee?
It is important to note that in order to start generating excess electricity, you would need at least one turbine. However, there are exceptions where two or more turbines are permitted. For example, if your property is located in an area that receives a lot of soggy days during the summer months, then it would be better to install both a ‘dry’ turbine and a ‘wet’ turbine. This way, you would ensure maximum production of energy and your excess electricity would be fed back into the national grid.
As a final point, it is worth bearing in mind that if you are a ‘green’, environmentally friendly customer then you may be eligible for a ‘feed-in tariff’. This means that you could earn money from your excess electricity production. If you live in a community with a ‘green’ community hub then this type of scheme would be perfect for you. In order to qualify for the scheme, you would have to demonstrate that you generate a minimum of 2% of your area’s power supply. So if you generated five megawatts of electricity per annum, you would qualify. Of course, you could always sell any excess electricity that you produced to the energy company in question!