Q Is there any Government payment that will help towards costs?

Q If I opt for a system that puts stuff into the grid do I get paid for that electricity?

Q Do I need to tell my electricity company that I am generating my own electricity?

A When you are looking at costs and payback figures it is worth considering that you might be eligible for Government grants especially if you generate your own electricity. You can sell any over-production to a power company, and since April you can claim for electricity you produce and consume yourself.


The legislation on Government grants for solar systems is in the process of change to get up-to-date information go to

Grants are not payable on DIY schemes.

Selling on energy that is not required in the home

The answer to questions two and three is yes. As you can get payments for generating electricity - you do need to contact your electricity company to make a deal!

You are likely to get the best deal from the company you get your supply from, but it is worth shopping around.

More good news is that you can also claim for electricity you use in your own home - see Feed-In Tariffs section below.


To sell on over-capacity you need two meters to monitor your system:

Total generation meter: Most tariffs require an Ofgem approved total generation meter. These meters give a running total of the electricity generated by the system in kilowatt-hours (kWh).

Export Meter: Most export tariffs ask for an export meter. Some companies will pay for the meter and its installation whereas others may charge you. It is important that you establish the costs before agreeing a contract.

Feed-in Tariff

From April 1 Feed-In Tariffs (FITs) were introduced in the UK.

Householders now receive regular payments from energy supply companies for generating the electricity they use in their own home.

The scheme pays a minimum payment for all electricity generated by the system - while any exported to the grid gains a separate payment as well (see above - Selling on energy).

To qualify for FITs a system must have been installed between 15 July 2009 and 31 March 2010, or after 1 April 2010.

The system must be a Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) and installed by an approved MCS company. Go to for indepth information of MCS and ROO-FIT schemes.

If your system qualifies you will be eligible for:

1 Generation tariff - energy suppliers will pay for each unit of electricity generated. The rates will be set on entering the scheme, and

2 Export tariff - on top of the generation tariff a further 3p/kWh will be paid for each unit exported to the grid rather than being used on site.

In an article in The Guardian on February 6, 2010 Miles Brignall said the following:

"If the government offered to pay you 1,000 a year for the next 25 years, in return for an up-front investment of 12,500, you’d snap it up in a second. Well, that’s pretty much the deal on offer this week after the government finally revealed what it will pay those who install electricity generating solar panels - in and around their homes - through the new "Feed-in Tariffs" (FITs).

"Anyone fitting a typical 12,500, 2.5kW PV system to their existing home will initially be paid 41.3p per kilowatt hour (kWh) generated. Enough, according to Miliband (the then energy and climate change secretary), to reward them with up to 900 in the first year on top of a 140-a-year saving on their bills."

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Benefit from the money saving energy efficiency solar power can provide you and your home – Learn about insurance schemes, DIY opportunities, choosing a trustworthy installer and supplier, gaining grants from government schemes, selling on spare energy, costs of systems and much more.

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