How Solar Panels and Smart Meters work together
The UK government is presently implementing second-generation smart metres (SMETS2), which are fully compatible with solar panels. First-generation smart metres (SMETS1) had issues connecting to solar panels.
What is a smart meter?
According to the government plan, all homes should have smart metres by the year 2020. Smart metres are essentially an intelligent improvement of the existing gas and electricity metres. A smart metre can automatically report your precise real-time energy usage to your energy provider. This means that the predicted energy bills are ultimately eliminated by the new technology.
Additionally, smart metres provide an in-home display (IHD). This little display makes it easy to see how much energy is being consumed in your home in almost real-time.
Do solar panels and smart meters work together?
What is the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)?
The Feed-in Tariff, which expired in 2019, has been replaced by the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). Homeowners that produce renewable solar energy may be compensated by their electricity provider through the SEG. Each unit of electricity provided to the National Grid is the basis for the tariff.
It was predicted that about 50% of solar energy produced during the Feed-in Tariff period was delivered to the Grid. Therefore, any home supplying the National Grid with more energy than that could have been underpaid.
In the future, homes will be compensated more correctly for the amount of electricity they send to the grid thanks to smart metres and the Smart Export Guarantee.
As part of the Smart Export Guarantee, UK energy providers with more than 150,000 clients are required by law to compensate their clients for each unit of electricity generated by solar panels and exported to the National Grid. The tariffs set by energy providers are completely up to them. Suppliers with less than 150,000 clients have the option of joining the SEG.
Getting a smart meter
In the UK, second-generation smart metres are currently being installed. If they haven’t already, your energy provider should get in touch with you to make one available.
By 2024, your energy provider must offer you the chance to update if you have a first-generation smart metre (SMETS1).
With a smart meter, am I able to change energy providers?
If you have a smart metre, switching to a new energy provider should go more smoothly. Once the transfer has been done, a second-generation smart metre can send data to the new supplier instead of the old one.
However, homeowners with first-generation smart metres have reported difficulty while switching energy providers. The IHD not functioning or the energy provider not receiving metre readings are examples of potential problems.
If you have a smart metre, you can still transfer energy suppliers if you decide to do so after comparing SEG pricing.
Is there a different method to utilise surplus solar energy?
Energy can also be stored in a solar battery as an alternative to exporting it. You will be able to consume more of the energy produced by your solar panels as a result. Extra energy produced by solar panels during the day will be stored in the solar battery. This will enable the use of electricity when the solar panels aren’t producing energy, such as in the evening or at night.
With a solar battery, am I still qualified for the SEG?
Even if you have a solar battery, the Smart Export Guarantee may still pay you. But not all tariffs will cover the cost of energy that has been kept in a battery. This is due to the possibility that the energy is not produced by renewable solar energy but rather fossil fuels. So it’s important to review the conditions set by your energy provider.
What is the prices of solar batteries?
A solar battery storage system may cost anything from £800 to £10,000, and in some cases considerably more. The manufacturer, model, storage space, and any other features will all affect the pricing. To find out more about solar battery storage read more about it here.
Frequentyl asked questions about Solar Panels
Whether your roof faces south, east, or west your home is perfect to have solar photovoltaic panels installed. North facing roofs will not receive as much sunlight and therefore won’t be as efficient. The pitch of your roof should be between 10 – 60 degrees,
Having solar panels installed in your home is classed as a “permitted development”. You only require planning permission if you live in a listed building or area of outstanding natural beauty.
In most circumstances we will insist on putting up our own scaffold, to ensure the safety of you and our solar panel installers, however there are exceptions when scaffold is already in place for renovation works or a new build home is being built, but that scaffold would have to meet with our safety standards.
Our lead time from consultation to solar panel installation is around 4-6 weeks, unless you need an application to your local network – then it can take a little bit longer.