Smart export guarantee and feed-in tariffs

The smart export guarantee has replaced feed-in tariffs (FITs) as the new way for you to feed renewable energy back into the grid, and get paid for it.

Amy Smith
Amy Smith
Updated 19 June 2020  | 3 min read

Key points

  • Feed-in tariffs and smart export guarantees (SEG) are tariffs offered by suppliers where you get paid per kWh of energy you feed back into the grid
  • If you’re already on a feed-in tariff you can stay on it and keep getting paid. But you can move to a SEG if you like
  • If you’re new to the scheme, you’ll have to choose an SEG tariff instead. Feed-in tariffs are closed to new applicants

What’s a feed-in tariff and what’s replacing it?

If you produce your own electricity, you can choose to feed any excess power you generate into the national grid.

You’ll either benefit from reduced energy bills or be paid for the additional energy you produce, depending on how much power you generate. These feed-in tariffs (FITs) are managed by energy suppliers.

The feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme closed to new applicants on 31 March 2019 and was replaced by the smart export guarantee (SEG) in January 2020.

The main difference is with the new SEG scheme energy suppliers with over 150,000 customers have to offer an SEG tariff. Smaller suppliers can still choose whether to offer one or not.

If you’re already on a FIT and getting paid for the energy you’re putting back into the grid, you don’t have to move onto an SEG. Though you can if you want.

You can combine an SEG or FIT with other grants and support, such as the Home Energy Scotland loan, but you can’t have both a SEG and a FIT, or SEGs from multiple suppliers.

What is the smart export guarantee?

The scheme works similarly to a FIT. You get paid for any excess renewable energy you generate and export back to the national grid.

The scheme covers energy generated by the following technologies:

  • Solar PV panels
  • Domestic wind turbines
  • Hydro
  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Micro-combined heat and power

How much will I get paid with the smart export guarantee?

Suppliers set their own SEGs, so it’ll vary between them. They can decide whether the tariffs are fixed rate or variable. And how often you get paid.

To get a rough idea of what the rate could be, the FIT scheme payed 5.38 pence per kilowatt before it closed. But it’s worth doing your research and comparing tariff rates between suppliers to get the best deal.