UK energy suppliers unveil mixed bag of solar export tariffs

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Image: Nottingham City Council.

Energy suppliers in the UK have unveiled a mixed bag of tariffs for domestic solar exports, with O&G major Shell’s supply business unveiling a tariff of just 0.001p/kWh.

Under new legislation, dubbed the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), UK based energy retailers with more than 150,000 customers must offer an export tariff for households with solar installations fitted after 31 March 2019.

The scheme replaces the country’s legacy feed-in tariff, which closed to new applicants on 31 March 2019, and ensures solar systems receive some form of financial payment for any power they export to the grid.

A total of 13 suppliers have launched SEG tariffs – some voluntarily, as they sit below the 150,000 customer threshold – with the tariffs on offer ranging from 5.6p/kWh to just 0.0001p.

The tariffs available, from highest to lowest, are as follows:

Energy supplier Tariff name Price/kWh
Social Energy Export 5.6p
Octopus Energy Outgoing Fixed 5.5p
E.On (Available to new customers with solar installs from 1 January 2020) Fix & Export Exclusive V1 5.5p
Bulb Export Payments 5.38p
OVO OVO SEG Tariff 4.0p
ScottishPower Smart Export Variable 4.0p
SSE Smart Export Tariff 3.5p
EDF Export & Earn 3.5p
E.On (All customers, incl. Npower) Fix & Export V1 3.0p
Centrica/British Gas Export and Earn Flex 1.5p
Green Network Energy SEG Tariff 1.0p
Utility Warehouse UW Smart Export Guarantee 0.5p
Shell Energy SEG Tariff 0.0001p

Shell Energy, the supply division of energy giant Shell, told sister publication Solar Power Portal that the 0.0001p/kWh tariff currently on offer was a pilot tariff, with an upgraded tariff set to be launched later this year.

E.On and EDF's tariffs are both being offered on a 12 monthly basis, with Centrica's having no fixed end date or exit fees. Centrica is to make SEG payments once in any six-month period, with SSE will make payments once a year. Bulb offers payments every quarter.

Solar Trade Association chief executive Chris Hewett said: “At first glance, a competitive export market seems to be emerging. While some of the offers are lower than what we consider to be a fair, market rate, at least a third are priced above the government’s export tariff.

“Unsurprisingly it is newer suppliers that are leading the way, and those in the Big Six will have to catch up if they are serious about offering prosumers a fair deal and driving renewables. Ultimately it will be up to Ofgem to decide if the market is meeting the reasonable expectation of fair remuneration for small-scale power exports.”

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