One of the electricity supply companies have recently launched a new tariff for the purchase of electricity from renewable sources. You may have seen the advert, it goes “15p for every unit of electricity you produce, even if you use it in your own home”. Sounds like a good deal. Getting paid for the electricity that you have used? Sounds good, perhaps too good!
The new tariff came into effect on 1st April 2009 (just a coincidence I am sure) just 3 months ahead of the Governments announcement on feed-in tariffs which the pundits are suggesting will come in a between 20p and 30p per kWh.
I checked out the figures. You get 15p sure enough, and you can use all the electricity you generate and export none at all to the grid, and still get the 15p for everything you generate. But (here it comes), you have also handed over the Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROC’S) currently worth 5p to 5.5p per kWh and micro-generators get double ROC’s – so at least 10p per kWh. Electricity from renewable sources is currently trading at 4.5p to 5.7p on the open market so the reality is that 15p is low end of average price.
And you have to buy you electricity from that same company to take advantage of their offer. Their sale price, if you live where I do 14.93p per kWh plus standing charges and VAT.
If you are a really small generator, less than 2kW capacity wind turbine for instance, you will do OK as you can use all that electricity in-house, get paid 15p for it and not have to buy too much from the electricity company. But if you are a net exporter, i.e. generating more than you consume, it is not so great. You are effectively only getting 4p per kWh for what you export.
The good news is that there are better deals out there, and organisations that can find those deals for you.
The big questions is, is it not time the energy companies, especially those purporting to have green credentials, took the lead in this and started offering a decent price for the best quality electricity? How much longer are the green energy companies going to rip of the micro-generator, who is just trying to do his bit?