Feed-in-Tariff payments and changing electricity provider

by Mars

We have received a few emails and messages recently about the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) and what people should do when changing electricity providers. Here’s our advice based on our own experience.

We consume in excess of 15,000 kWh of electricity per year (mainly due to our air source heat pump) so it’s imperative that we are always on the best possible tariff. This means that once a year we go on the hunt for a new energy provider, but this doesn’t affect our FiT payments and who we’re registered with in any way.

In our case, when we installed our solar PV array, OVO were our electricity provider, so we submitted our FiT application and documentation to them because they had a dedicated department for this. It was neat and tidy at the time.

The application process was lengthy, and we had to fill in loads of forms and submit documentation and certificates from our installers. Once approved, OVO’s FiT system is fully automated and once a quarter we get an email asking us to submit our solar production readings.

Once the readings have been submitted the payment arrives within a few weeks. It’s quick, easy and seamless.

Since then, however, we switched from OVO to GOTO Energy as our electricity provider because OVO significantly raised their electricity rates, and we need to maintain a low tariff in order to ensure that our air source heat pump is financially sustainable.

We did, however, leave our FiT registered with OVO and we continue to use them for our payments because they’re professional and the system works seamlessly.

Based on this, if your FiT payments are coming in OK from whoever you are registered with, stay with them because the documentation we had to submit as part of original application was extensive, and we don’t think it’s worth the admin and hassle moving to a different provider.

There are some people who have purchased a property with solar panels and inherited the remaining FiT payments. My advice to them is to stick with the existing energy provider if everything’s registered and working OK, because you may be missing documentation that may affect your registration with a new provider and that could lead to delays and headaches.

If, however, you are considering moving to a new provider you can appoint any energy provider of your choice. I’d recommend OVO based on our experience because they were super helpful and very professional. If you want to go with another provider I’d suggest that you find out whether they have a dedicated FiT department and system because you really want this process to be as simple as possible.

The main takeaway message from this post is that your FiT provider can be different to your energy provider.

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