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Sell your energy back to the grid with a smart solar home

A cutback on the use of non-renewable fossil fuels is an important step in tackling the climate emergency, and one actionable way to do this is through the use of renewable energy. Smart solar homes increase UK renewable energy use and can reduce the amount of energy needed from the National Grid.

The advent of renewables

Renewable energy is generated from natural resources such as the sun, wind or rain, using technology to ensure that the energy stores are naturally replenished. Low carbon and renewable energy sources including solar photovoltaic technology generated 64.4% of electricity in the United Kingdom in 2020, as reported by the National Grid’s control room.

In this time of environmental change, there is a pressing need to transition to smarter home solutions through the use of renewable energy sources, and solar photovoltaic technology is just one example.

What is solar photovoltaic technology?

Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology uses energy from the sun to generate power that can be used in your home. It converts sunlight into electricity by capturing the sun’s energy using photovoltaic cells that you often see in the form of panels on the rooftop of homes. 

These panels don’t need direct sunlight to work – they can still generate a considerable amount of electricity on a cloudy day. You can learn more about solar PV technology in this short informative video by the Energy Savings Trust.

What is a ‘smart’ solar home?

According to the UK Energy Research Centre, on their own, renewable energy systems provide little resilience, since the power output from renewable sources is intermittent and cannot be easily controlled. Energy storage systems such as batteries connected to the internet have been identified as a physical means to achieving resilience.

You’ve probably heard of ‘smart’ homes- homes that enable you to control household appliances and systems, such as your central heating, remotely via a mobile phone or another connected device. A smart solar home takes this notion of home automation a step further by allowing you to monitor the performance of your home solar power system, battery storage and how much energy it draws from the National Grid via a smart meter.

What are the benefits of installing solar PV panels?

There are lots of benefits to using clean, green renewables such as solar PV panels. These include benefits for the planet by helping to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, as well as benefits for your pocket by reducing your home energy bills in the long run – as sunlight is free. Solar PV panels generate energy that is clean and green.

Another benefit to installing solar PV panels is that as a new customer, you can now generate extra income by selling surplus energy back to your energy provider via the UK Government’s new Smart Export Guarantee.  

Introducing the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) – smart export tariffs for new customers with Solar PV

With any domestic solar PV system if you have a substantial number of panels you may find that you generate more electricity than you need to power your home. If you don’t have a battery to store your electricity, there is a new Government Initiative that can help you.

From 1 January 2020, UK homeowners who install new rooftop solar panels could be able to lower their bills by selling the energy they do not need back to their supplier. The Government has introduced this as a new initiative called ‘Smart Export Guarantee’ to increase small-scale low-carbon generation for homes. 

How will the Smart Export Guarantee work?

The new rules will give households the right to sell solar power back to energy providers as measured by their smart meter. To qualify for the Smart Export Guarantee, you will have to have renewable energy systems installed to meet the standards of the Microgeneration Certification Scheme, a quality assurance system in the installation of small-scale renewables.

Energy suppliers with more than 150,000 customers must offer a minimum of one export tariff each and will pay for electricity exported to the grid based on readings taken from a suitable meter such as your smart meter. Your smart meter will interact with the grid to provide grid balancing services and electricity trading. 

Check what smart export tariffs you can sign up to directly with your energy provider and visit Ofgem’s website for more guidance on the Smart Export Guarantee. 

The future of energy is local

Could these new smart tariffs be the future of UK solar power? The fact that the Smart Export Guarantee ensures that greener households are guaranteed payment for electricity supplied to the grid, highlights that solar is a key element in decarbonising the UK’s electricity grid. Making the most of your solar PV system in your smart solar home can help pump more renewable energy back into the grid.

Transform your home into a smart solar home

Solar electricity is a green renewable energy that turns households into smart solar homes. We can take advantage of this clean energy generating technology at Cosy Homes Oxfordshire.

If you’re thinking of installing solar PVs in your home and you live in Oxfordshire, our Free Plan Builder tool can help you build an energy efficiency plan for your home for free.

Simply put in your postcode and you’ll see everything we know about the current energy efficiency and performance of your home, based on existing data. Then, choose your budget and priorities and the Plan Builder will create a draft retrofit plan for your home – which you can edit to suit your needs.

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