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Smart Export Guarantee – Everything you need to know

Confused about the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)? Join us as we guide you through everything from different criteria, rates, tariffs and solar panel installation costs.

Most people are aware of how our day-to-day lives can have a negative or positive impact on the environment. From avoiding single-use plastic to recycling and eating a more plant-based diet, we have the power to make huge changes. With this in mind, the Smart Export Guarantee was put into place by the government to encourage the switch to use renewable energy in our homes.

Today, we’ll be delving into the UK Smart Export Guarantee, including how it works, the different rates, and who is eligible to benefit.

What is the Smart Export Guarantee?

Put into place on the 1st January 2020, the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) is designed to incentivise the use of renewable energy. The SEG scheme means any homeowner who generates excess renewable energy in their home will be properly compensated. This prevents any energy from being wasted, as it’s funnelled back into the grid instead.

Sometimes people ask about the “solar export guarantee” or “smart energy guarantee”. These aren’t correct terms and instead, these people are usually describing the UK Smart Export Guarantee. These terms are one and the same.

smart export guarantee methodsUK Smart Export Guarantee criteria

In order to qualify for the UK Smart Export Guarantee, you’ll need to fulfil certain criteria. Firstly, you’ll need to start generating renewable energy in your home.

This can be done in one of the following ways:

  • Solar power
  • Wind power
  • Hydropower
  • Micro combined heat and power
  • Anaerobic digestion

Once you’re properly prepared to start producing energy, you’ll need to sign up with an energy supplier and install an export metre in your home. This will measure how much energy you’re feeding back into the power grid and you’ll be compensated for this. Please note, there are usually restrictions on the amount of energy you can generate.

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water power used under smart export guaranteeSmart export guarantee rates

When it comes to generating renewable energy, you can expect to receive payment from your energy supplier as long as you meet the criteria. Now, you’ll only be compensated for extra energy you produce, unlike previously when you were paid for both exported and generated energy.

SEG rates are set by different energy suppliers and guarantee how much you’ll be paid for your excess energy. These often vary between different types of energy so it’s worth checking the current SEG rates before deciding on the best way to generate renewable energy at home.

What is the average smart export guarantee tariff?

As we mentioned previously with SEG rates, different energy suppliers will set different Smart Export Guarantee tariffs. This means one supplier may offer 1p/kWh and another may offer 5p/kWh. This makes a huge difference between SEG tariffs, making shopping around before committing to your energy supplier essential.

wind power for smart export guaranteeHow can I apply for the Smart Export Guarantee?

It’s actually quite simple to sign up and start benefiting from the SEG. You’ll need to check you meet the criteria, as well as complete some paperwork for your application. Ensure you:

  • Have the means to produce energy through solar power, hydropower, wind power, micro combined heat and power or anaerobic digestion.
  • Have an export metre installed.
  • Have proof of ownership for your energy system.
  • Fill in the SEG application form.
  • Have an MCS certification.

Interested in solar panel installation?

Installing solar panels is a fantastic way to save money on energy bills. In addition, you’ll be producing clean, renewable energy which is fantastic for the environment. Thanks to the SEG, you’re also able to sell any excess energy your panels produce, potentially earning back the initial cost of your investment.

Interested? Check out our handy search feature that allows you to scour our database for solar panel installers in your local area. You can also visit their profile pages to see past customer reviews. This extra transparency means you can be confident in your choice of professional.

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How much does professional solar panel installation cost?

For anyone considering installing solar panels at home, it can be helpful to know the average amount to budget. In general, the average cost of 10 water solar panels will be £14,570 and the average cost of 10 electric solar panels will be £10,755.

If you’re interested in learning more about solar panels, our cost of solar panel installation guide covers different types of solar panels, how much energy they generate and more prices. In addition, our solar energy grants guide will help to teach you more about the funding and grants available.

Alternatively, for wind power check out our wind turbine cost guide. Prices can vary from £800 to a whopping £70,000, but our guide helps explain how these costs vary.

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