What is the Smart Export Guarantee?
The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) is a government incentive that launched in 2020 to replace the Feed-in Tariff (FIT). The SEG pays small-scale renewable energy generators for the electricity they export to the grid.
The SEG is available for:
- Solar Panels
- Micro combined heat and power
- Anaerobic Digestion
Under the SEG, houses that provide surplus renewable power into the grid will be paid for it. However, you must enrol in an SEG tariff with an energy provider otherwise, you will not get reimbursed for your electricity generated and would be forced to export any surplus to the National Grid for free.
All licensed energy companies with 150,000 or more customers must provide at least one SEG tariff.
Types of Smart Export Guarantee tariff…
There are two main types of SEG, a fixed rate and a flexible rate:
With the fixed rate, energy companies pay a fixed price per kilowatt-hour of power sent to the grid, regardless of when it is exported. The majority of the current SEG tariffs follow this approach.
With the flexible rate, energy companies pay varying amounts depending on how useful the electricity is to the grid at different times. As a result, you could be paid more for exporting electricity at a time when demand is high (in the evening, for instance).
Who is eligible for the Smart Export Guarantee?
You should be able to sign up for an SEG tariff if you install solar panels, a wind turbine, or other renewable generating product in your home. However, you must satisfy certain requirements:
- Your installation must be 5MW capacity or less (50kW for micro-CHP)
- You’ll need a meter that can provide half-hourly readings for electricity export
- Your installation must be MCS-certified
Does the Smart Export Guarantee work with Battery Storage?
If you’re familiar with solar power, you probably already know about the advantages of solar battery storage. You can only utilise solar panels during the day if you don’t have these storage solutions. However, with batteries, you can store this energy and utilise it whenever you want – for example, after the sun has set.
Because the SEG is an export tariff, you only get paid for the electricity you sell to the grid. You won’t get any tariffs if you store your extra solar energy in batteries.
However, the SEG covers solar storage, so you may still be eligible for the export tariff if you export stored energy. However, this is not the case with all suppliers.