I recently installed several new solar panels to reduce the overall cost of my electricity bills in the long run.

I plan to sell my excess energy back to the grid, but I don’t know where to start and to whom to consider selling it.

How much will I get if I sell my extra energy, and how do I get the best deal? AR, by email.

Owners of solar panels can sell surplus energy to the grid through the Smart Export Guarantee scheme, which means that households can earn up to £ 150 extra each year

Emilia Chavelin of This is Money answers: As energy costs reach record highs, solar panel owners can expect big money if they sell the surplus energy they generate back to the grid.

But while the money can be earned, the tariffs paid to solar owners are relatively low compared – and there are significant set-up costs.

This makes it even more important that they get the best deal for the power they sell.

Two years ago, the government set up a scheme of reasonable export guarantees, essentially forcing major suppliers to buy any surplus energy not used by homeowners to encourage more households to switch to clean energy.

Unfortunately for you, the scheme does not specify how much suppliers will pay for this excess energy, which has led to poor tariffs all over.

And before you can sell your energy back to the grid, you need to install a solar panel. This device will allow you to save excess energy, but its installation costs between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds.

The cost of the supplier to purchase energy
Energy supplier The name of the tariff Price per kW / year
Tesla Energy plan 12р
Octopus Output Fixed 7.5 р
E.ON The next export exclusive 5.5 р
Scottish government A reasonable export variable 5.5 р
Avo SEG tariff
SSE Reasonable export 3.5 р
Shell SEG V1.1 3.5 р
British gas Export and Earn Flex 3.2 р
Communal warehouse UW Smart export guarantee
EDF Export + wages 1.5 р

If you do not have a way to store the energy you generate, on a sunny day you can get too much, and on dark days – not enough, so you should invest in a decent storage system.

Unfortunately, these big initial costs mean you shouldn’t expect to make a profit from your solar investment for the first few years.

The good news is that you can still get your money back by selling your energy. The average three-bedroom home can bring in up to £ 120 each year, and total profits in the thousands over the life of your solar panels.

This is of course in addition to the smaller electricity bills that you have to get as a result of your investment.

Currently, Tesla, which operates on Octopus Energy, pays the best rate for excess energy of 12 pence per kWh. EDF pays the lowest – 1.5 pence per kWh.

However, you need to pay around £ 9,000 to install a Powerwall 2 solar panel to access the Tesla 12p rate per kWh.

The battery has only a 10-year warranty and will need to be replaced around the middle of the 25-year life of the solar panels.

This completely negates the benefits of Tesla’s higher fare: the average three-bedroom family loses £ 4,900 in 25 years.

The same house could earn £ 8,600 for panel life, choosing instead the Octopus 7.5 pence rate per kWh and a cheaper battery.

Octopus Energy currently offers the most competitive surplus rate - 7.5 pence per kWh compared to EDF for 1.5 pence per kWh

Octopus Energy currently offers the most competitive surplus rate – 7.5 pence per kWh compared to EDF for 1.5 pence per kWh

Consumers will need to find out how much energy they are likely to produce and what tariff will be most appropriate for them.

An additional hurdle is that you will probably need to be a customer of the supplier to whom you want to sell excess capacity.

Some companies offer alternative rates for buyers, but you do not guarantee that you will get the maximum bet on your energy.

For example, Octopus offers 4.2 pence instead of 7.5 pence per kWh to non-customers who sell their energy.

Should I sell my energy back to the grid?

Energy companies say they actually lose money when buying energy from customers through solar panels, and argue that this is the reason for low tariffs.

An Octopus Energy spokesman said: “It is important to note that due to the current network setup with network administration, fees and distribution costs, it is usually negative for us to offer any export tariffs.

“We choose these best rates on the market because we know that the future energy system consists of many small generators and houses with their own energy sources.

“We need to give people benefits when they switch to green, and make it a cheaper option. That’s why we offer such good rates on our rates.

This means that it may make more sense to use the surplus energy that you generate yourself, instead of selling it back to the grid, lowering household bills every month.

If you decide to sell energy back into the grid, you should consider the cost of your usual energy tariff from an individual supplier, as well as the rate they pay when you sell energy to them.

Talk to your current supplier about your options and then go shopping to find what works for you.

A Octopus spokesman added: “Renewable energy is already the cheapest source of electricity, and wind energy now costs an average of 5 retirees / kWh.

“We need to keep going to hell on renewables, and retailers need to make it cheaper for customers to install and run low-carbon heating or small renewables.

“Together, we can create an energy system that benefits people, their pockets and the planet.”

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