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How Can I Earn Money From My Solar Panels?: A Guide to the Smart Export Guarantee Scheme

How Can I Earn Money From My Solar Panels?: A Guide to the Smart Export Guarantee Scheme

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As solar panel installations continue to rise across the UK, many homeowners are discovering the benefits of generating their own renewable energy with solar panels and the power of the sun. But what happens when your solar panels produce more energy than you use?

Through the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme, you can sell this excess energy back to the grid, earning money as well as making significant savings on your energy bills whilst contributing to a more sustainable future. Here’s everything you need to know about selling excess solar energy.

What is the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) Scheme?

The Smart Export Guarantee is a government-backed initiative which was introduced back in January 2020, replacing the previous Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme. Under SEG, licensed electricity suppliers with over 150,000 customers are required to offer export tariffs to homeowners who generate renewable energy and export the excess back to the grid. This means that homeowners with solar panels can earn money for the energy they don’t use.

Benefits of the SEG Scheme

  1. Financial Incentives
    • Earn Money: By exporting surplus energy, you can generate a new income stream. The rates vary by supplier, but typically range from 2p to 5.5p per kWh, with some suppliers offering even higher rates of upto 20p per kWh.
    • Reduced Payback Period: The income from selling excess energy can help offset the initial costs or investment of installing your solar panels, reducing the payback period and making the investment more attractive.
  2. Energy Efficiency
    • Maximized Usage: The SEG scheme encourages the efficient use of renewable energy. Homeowners are incentivized to generate more energy and use it wisely, knowing they can earn from any excess.
    • Support for the Grid: By feeding clean energy back into the grid, you help stabilize the energy supply, particularly during peak demand periods, supporting the transition to a greener energy system.
  3. Environmental Impact
    • Reduced Carbon Footprint: Selling excess solar energy promotes the use of renewable resources, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
    • Sustainable Energy Future: Contributing to the grid with renewable energy helps the UK move towards its carbon reduction targets and supports a sustainable energy future.

How Much Can You Earn?

The amount you can earn by selling excess solar energy depends on several factors, including the size of your solar panel system, your energy consumption patterns, and the export tariff rates offered by your electricity supplier. Here are some typical scenarios:

  • Small Household (2kW System)
    • Average Annual Export: 1,000 kWh
    • Potential Earnings: £20 – £55 per year (based on 2p to 5.5p per kWh)
  • Medium Household (3.5kW System)
    • Average Annual Export: 1,500 kWh
    • Potential Earnings: £30 – £82.50 per year (based on 2p to 5.5p per kWh)
  • Large Household (5kW System)
    • Average Annual Export: 2,500 kWh
    • Potential Earnings: £50 – £137.50 per year (based on 2p to 5.5p per kWh)

These figures are estimates and can vary based on your specific circumstances and the export tariff rates you secure.

Steps to Start Selling Excess Solar Energy

  1. Install a Smart Meter
    • To participate in the SEG scheme, you must have a smart meter that accurately measures the amount of electricity you export to the grid. Contact your energy supplier to arrange the installation if you don’t already have one.
  2. Choose an Export Tariff
    • Research and compare export tariffs offered by different electricity suppliers. Consider factors such as the rate per kWh, contract terms, and payment frequency.
  3. Register with an SEG Supplier
    • Once you’ve chosen a supplier, register for their SEG tariff. You’ll need to provide details about your solar panel system, such as capacity and installation date.
  4. Monitor Your Exports
    • Regularly monitor the amount of energy your system exports. This will help you understand your earnings and optimize your energy usage to maximize exports.

Tips for Maximizing Earnings

  1. Optimize Energy Usage
    • Use energy-intensive appliances during peak solar production times to ensure that more of the energy you generate is used within your home, leaving more to be exported when the sun isn’t shining as brightly.
  2. Invest in Battery Storage
    • Consider adding a battery storage system to your solar setup. This allows you to store excess energy for use during non-sunny periods, potentially increasing the amount of energy you can export during high-demand times.
  3. Regular Maintenance
    • Keep your solar panels clean and well-maintained to ensure they operate at peak efficiency, maximizing your energy generation and export potential.

Selling excess solar energy through the Smart Export Guarantee scheme is a smart way to enhance the financial benefits of your solar panel system. By generating income from surplus energy, you can reduce your energy bills, support a sustainable energy future, and enjoy a quicker return on your investment.

At Brookfield Renewable Energies, we’re here to help you navigate the SEG scheme and make the most of your solar energy system. Start earning from your excess solar energy today and contribute to a greener tomorrow! All of our solar panel installations are SEG ready, start enjoying the benefits of switching to solar today: Contact Us for a free, no obligation property survey with one of our experienced, knowledgable solar experts today.

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