Since the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) was introduced as an incentive to homeonwers in 2020, it has made renewable energy installations even more financially attractive.
If you've already installed your solar panels and battery or other qualifying energy storage systems, congratulations! You should be be receiving money for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity you export.
What's the catch? Make sure you have a reliable smart meter that records your exported electricity and keep tabs on energy tariffs from competing suppliers.
Note: The money you receive depends on the tariff set by your energy supplier. Some suppliers may pay more than others, so it's shop around and compare tariffs. (more about that later).
Let's say your solar panels generate 10kWh of electricity per day, but you only use 4kWh. The remaining 6kWh is exported back to the grid. If your energy supplier's SEG tariff is 3p per kWh, you'll receive 18p for that day's exports. It's isn't a whole lot but it adds up over time.
Top Tip: Maximising Your Solar Investment
If you only have solar panels, you may want to consider installing a battery storage system as well. This way instead of sending excess power back to the grid, you can use it at your convenience or when your solar panels are not generating any electricity. This will further reduce your energy bills and increase your savings.
Stay in the Know: How Often Do Tariffs Change?
While set tariffs were a fixture under the Feed-in Tariff scheme, SEG tariffs can fluctuate. How often isn't as clear-cut as homeowners would like.
Since energy suppliers set their own tariffs (most change tariffs annually) some may adjust them more frequently based on the energy market, operational costs, and technological advancements in solar energy.
What does this mean for you? It's your responsibility to ensure you receive your payments and keep tabs on tariff rates. Be aware that some suppliers have clauses preventing or limiting frequent supplier changes, so always read the terms and conditions carefully.
You will only be eligible for SEG payments if:
- your solar system is MCS certified and
- its capacity does not exceed 5MW for solar PV and wind, or 50kW for Micro-CHP.
Remember, it's not just about finding the highest tariff, but finding a reputable supplier and tariff that suits your energy production and consumption habits.
Comparing SEG Tariffs: A Handy Chart
Keeping track of the various tariffs can seem challenging. To make your life easier, see the comparison chart* below.
|Tariff Rate (p/kWh)
|Octopus Energy (Outgoing Agile)
|Average 16p (1)
|Good Energy (Solar Savings)
|20p or 15p (8)
|E.on Next (Next Export)
|16.5p or 3p (2)
|Octopus Energy (Outgoing Fixed Lite)
|15p or 4.1p (3)
|Scottish Power (Smart Gen)
|15p or 12p (2)
|Octopus Energy (Outgoing Fixed)
|British Gas (Export and Earn Flex)
|15p or 6.4p (3)
|EDF Energy (Export Variable Value)
|5.6p or 3p (3)
|Utility Warehouse (UW Smart Export Guarantee)
|5.6p or 2p (5)
|Pozitive Energy (SEG tariff)
|So Energy (So Expert Flex)
|20p or 7.5p (6)
|Ovo Energy (Ovo SEG Tariff)
|20p or 4p (7)
|Shell Energy (SEG V1.1 Tariff)
|SSE (Smart Export Tariff)
|E (SEG January2020v.1)
* As of 14 Dec 2023 courtesy of moneysavingsexpert
Remember that tariff rates are subject to change, so it's important to stay updated on the most recent rates.