The Export Tariff
An export tariff is a payment made to you for any surplus electricity your renewable energy system, for example solar system, generates and exports back to the electricity grid.
This electricity can then be sold on by your energy provider to other customers. A payment is made for every kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity which you export. The export tariff is legally set at a floor price of 3p per kWh. This is the minimum you are entitled to receive and the rate is index linked to the retail price index. It is also possible to opt out of the fixed price and negotiate a better deal with your energy provider.
Meters are required to read import, export and generation flows of energy. You already have an import meter as that is how your electricity bills are measured. An Ofgem approved total generation meter will be installed as part of your solar PV system and gives the running total of electricity generated in kWh. Export meters are required to measure the amount of surplus electricity which is bought by the energy provider.
Smart meters are being installed as standard over the next few years so in the interim, rather than installing an export meter you are able to estimate the level of exports as 50% of the total generation of electricity.
If you believe your export levels are more than this you can still install an export meter. Smart meters can be read remotely so the system is fully automated. A lot of export tariffs require the customer to receive their import supply from the same company and restrictions may be placed on the import tariffs which can be used.