What's the Feed-In-Tariff?
The FIT is a government subsidy for renewable energy that was introduced in the UK in April 2010, and covers Photovoltaic (PV) schemes up to 5MW. It is made up of three elements:
1) Generation tariff – this is a payment made for each unit of electricity generated. The amount depends on the size and date of the installation, but the rate is guaranteed for 25 years.
2) Export tariff – this is a further 3p that is paid for each unit exported to the grid.
3) Energy savings – As you can use the electricity generated by the PV in the property, you have to buy less from the grid.
The FIT is paid for by energy companies, who then cover their costs by raising energy prices. The FIT is easily available to those who have both property and capital available, excluding many people, who still pay higher energy bills to fund the scheme. Recently, large companies have started renting roof space from individuals and community organisations, offering free electricity in return but taking the FIT as profit. However, this takes the profits from the FIT away from the local area and community. The Bristol Energy Co-operative aims to keep the FIT profits and the energy infrastructure in local community ownership.
Our building is thinking of installing a ground source heat pump or biomass boiler or other renewable heat system – will these systems be supported by the Bristol Energy Co-operative?
Yes. Any installation made after the 15th of June 2009 will be eligible for the Renewable Heat Incentive, so we would be happy to support such installations subject to member approval and having the capital available at the time.