What is the smart export guarantee (SEG)?

The smart export guarantee is the scheme whereby owners of qualifying technologies, such as solar panels, are offered a tariff for feeding electricity back to the grid. Qualifying SEG licensees (also known as your energy company, if qualifying for the scheme) then pay an amount for every Kw/h exported from the generating system.

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Who can be a SEG Generator?

Anybody who has installed a qualifying technology (see below) and the installation is within the UK can qualify for the SEG. Only certain energy companies qualify for the SEG, so ensuring your energy supplier is an SEG licensee will be important before proceeding with the installation. Additionally, the rate that each of the SEG licensees will pay for the energy exported to the grid varies, so ensuring you are getting a good rate while not overpaying for the electricity imported through the grid will have to be considered when determining the best qualifying energy supplier.

Which technologies are eligible for the SEG?

As of April 2022, there are currently only 5 eligible low-carbon technology types qualifying for SEG payments. If you have one or multiple of the below technology types, you can qualify for SEG payments:

  • Solar photovoltaic (solar PV)
  • Wind
  • Micro combined heat and power (micro-CHP)
  • Hydro
  • Anaerobic digestion (AD)

The installation must be in Great Britain and have a total capacity of no more than 5MW, or no more than 50kW for Micro-CHP.

How much can be made selling energy back to the grid from the SEG?

Energy generators that are exporting energy back to the grid from their qualifying renewable energy system should bear in mind that the SEG acts as a secondary payment, with the primary savings coming from the energy utilised within the house. To take advantage of the SEG, homeowners must sign up for a qualifying energy supplier that supports the SEG. Energy suppliers offer rates for each Kw/h exported back to the grid, with the rates varying from anywhere between 5.6p Kw/h to 1p Kw/h, so shopping around can ensure you get the maximum value for the exported energy.

Energy SupplierTariff RatePayment FrequencyBattery Storage Export
Social EnergyVariable5.6pYes
Octopus EnergyFixed & Variable5.5pn/a
Scottish PowerFixed4.0pNo
EDF EnergyFixed3.5pn/a
Shell EnergyVariable0.001pYes
British GasVariable1.5pYes
Utility WarehouseVariable0.5pn/a

Which energy companies support the SEG?

Energy suppliers with more than 150,000 domestic customers were required to launch an export tariff under the SEG on or before 1st January 2020. There are currently 12 mandatory energy suppliers and 3 voluntary energy suppliers that offer an export guarantee under the SEG scheme.

Mandatory SEG Licensees

Mandatory SEG Licensees are domestic energy suppliers that have over 150,000 domestic customers and as such are required to offer an export scheme under the SEG.

  • British Gas
  • Bulb
  • E
  • ON
  • EDF
  • ESB
  • Octopus Energy
  • OVO Energy
  • Scottish Power
  • Shell Energy
  • The Utility Warehouse
  • Utilita

Voluntary SEG Licensees

Voluntary SEG Licensees are domestic energy suppliers that have under 150,000 domestic customers and as such are not required to offer an export scheme under the SEG.

  • Cilleni Energy Supply
  • Pozitive Energy
  • Smart Pay Energy

What’s the difference between the SEG and FIT?

The feed-in tariff (FIT) is no longer available to new applicants after closing on 31st March 2019. The SEG was launched in January 2020 replacing the smart export guarantee (SEG). Those already on a FIT don’t have to transition across to the SEG, although they can if preferred. The feed-in tariff

SEG and energy storage batteries

If you have installed an energy storage system to complement your solar array system, you are still eligible to apply for the SEG. The rules related to the SEG scheme a slightly different for those that have solar batteries installed, as this regulates the storage of electricity exported from the grid (also referred to as brown electricity) before any export is made. Some energy suppliers do not pay for any brown electricity exported back to the grid, so it is worth checking this with your energy supplier.

Some energy suppliers require the separation of the electricity produced by your solar panel system (known as green electricity) from that of the brown energy stored in your home energy storage battery. If this is a requirement, our team at SolarTherm can advise on this further and install it to comply with the energy requirements.

SEG at SolarTherm UK

SolarTherm UK is a certified MCS installer (Membership No: 00047205) which enables our installations to qualify for the SEG. Our expert team will advise you throughout the installation process, advising on the optimum installation to ensure maximum efficiency and return from your solar system. With thousands of happy customers since becoming established in 2010, we can ensure our friendly and highly qualified staff will help you throughout the installation process. To find out more or to get a free quote contact us today.

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