Do you want to install solar panels, but you are worried that it will tie you to a single energy supplier? Find out why you shouldn’t worry
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If you decide to find a better deal on your gas and electricity, don’t be put off by the fact that you have solar panels.
While in most cases your current energy supplier also pays your feed-in tariff, that doesn’t mean you can’t switch to a new gas and electricity supplier.
Why? Simply because feed-in tariffs are a type of subsidy paid by most of the energy providers in the country, so whatever company you initially sign up with (your feed-in tariff licensee) must continue to pay you your tariff.
If you want, you can even change the supplier that purchases your excess electricity.
Do all suppliers pay feed-in tariffs?
Each of the Big Six – British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, npower, ScottishPower and SSE – is required by law to pay a feed-in tariff. Although they are not legally required to do so, many UK independent suppliers do the same.
You can find a complete list here.
Keep in mind that the tariffs paid to you for your electricity are universal and set by Ofgem, so you will not get a better feed-in tariff by changing your supplier.
Why install solar panels?
There are several reasons why someone may decide to install solar panels. Not only are solar panels an environmentally friendly way to generate electricity, but thanks to the feed-in tariff, you will be paid for any excess electricity you generate.
This means that if the electricity produced by your solar panels exceeds what you consume at any given time, the excess will be sold to an energy supplier of your choice. Usually, the same company will provide your energy, but there is no reason why you cannot choose another supplier to sell the excess to.
The Feed in Tariff scheme was offered to new applicants on March 31, 2019, but if you are already receiving payments, they will continue until the end of the initial 20-year period.