A fair deal for solar: the government are listening

When the government announced plans to end payments for surplus power for new solar homes, thousands of people joined our campaign to stop the daylight robbery.

After more than 7,000 wrote to your MP demanding fair treatment for solar, and 60 joined our stunt outside parliament, the government has been forced to publish a policy that would replace the export tariff. They are now consulting the public on this idea.

The government wants to bring in a ‘Smart Export Guarantee’ (SEG). This will ensure that people are paid by their energy supplier for the solar power they send to the grid for others to use. This is good news - and it's thanks to your action. But it is far from perfect. There are three key issues that need addressing.

  • Only households with smart meters will be able to get paid for their solar power through the SEG. But the government are miles behind on rolling out smart metres. Even if you have one, there might be hidden additional costs and the policy doesn’t go into any detail on this.

  • The government will leave it up to energy companies to decide how much people will be paid, and for how long, meaning there will be no guarantee that households will get a fair price for their energy. This uncertainty makes it difficult for people to make the all-important decision to invest in solar panels.

  • The SEG will not come into place in time for the end of the export tariff in March, leaving a gap during which new solar households will not receive any payment for surplus power.

We’re asking the government for more info on these issues, so we’ll be in touch with you soon to let you know what you can do.

You can read more about the government’s proposals and the consultation here.