I have been contacted by a number of people recently regarding the solar Feed-in Tariff, whereby those with solar panels on their homes are paid for the surplus electricity they put back into the National Grid. After a consultation, the UK Government recently took the decision to end the tariff, which I know has caused some concern. It plans to replace it with the Smart Export Guarantee, which seems to be a more modern, flexible alternative. I took the opportunity today, therefore, to ask the minister if her department would consider a fair minimum market rate for individuals who intend to carry on returning their excess power to the grid. She confirmed this was under consideration and that the minimum would be guided by the consultation.
My detailed views on this, as on most topics, are on my website here. If you have any specific concerns which are not answered there, do please send me an email as usual.
Is the Minister minded to ensure a fair minimum market rate for small-scale generators of exported electricity, to give them some incentive and some degree of confidence?
The Minister for Energy and Clean Growth (Claire Perry)
That is an important question that will come out in the consultation. Frankly, I would ensure that the market rate was always greater than zero, but that it varied at different times of day, because many of us may have excess energy that we wanted to sell into the grid at a particular time. I want to see what proposals come forward for setting that market rate. There are ideas out there, including that the rate should be wholesale price minus, or that it should be entirely market led.