Good news! Pure Planet can now install SMETS2 smart meters for members who have solar panels

  • 7 February 2020
  • 17 replies
  • 1504 views

Hi everyone,

Good news! We’re now opening our second generation Smart meter (SMETS2) installations to Members with solar panels (or any other type of renewable generation) installed at their home.

What’s driven this change?
To explain why we’re only opening this up now, we want to give a bit of a background on why we haven’t been installing SMETS2 alongside solar panels.

Most people who generate electricity at their home, with either solar panels, a wind turbine, or some other renewable generation technology, feed some amount of that electricity back onto the National Grid.

In the past, they were offered a government backed scheme called a Feed-in-Tariff (FiT). This scheme guaranteed to pay them for some or all of their generation - and ended on 31 March 2019 for new installations. Anyone signed up for FiT before that date will keep receiving payments for many years to come.

It’s fair to say there’s been a lot of uncertainty in the energy industry as a whole around FiT and how the SMETS2 rollout affects existing FiT customers.

For those of you who aren’t FiT generators, we’d like to explain the intricate regulations around FiT.
Under Feed-in-Tariff, a generator receives two types of payments from their FiT supplier:


  1. Generation payment — this equals the value of everything that the solar installation has generated. It doesn’t matter whether some, or all of the electricity was used by the property, or put back into the grid. Generation has its own meter and a FiT supplier would ask for a quarterly or yearly reading.
  2. Export payments— this payment is for excess electricity that the property hasn’t used. Instead, this excess is put back into the grid. These payments are, by default, paid on a deemed basis which is based on, typically, 50% of the total generation.

To give an example, imagine your solar panels generated 1,500 kWh of electricity in three months. Your FiT contract pays you 3p/kWh for generation and 5p/kWh for deemed export. You’d receive:

1,500 kWh (actual generation) * 3p/kWh (generation payment unit rate) + 750 kWh/2 (50% generation) * 5p (deemed export unit rate) = £82.5

(phew!😅)

The trick here is: not many UK households export as much as 50% of their generation. The actual figures are much lower (even lower if you’ve got a battery) so FiT generators are receiving a significant benefit with the deemed export payments.

Here’s where Smart meters make the difference: FiT policy says that when a meter capable of measuring export is installed at the property, deemed export should end and measured export should be introduced. Any Smart meter, including first generation (SMETS1) or second generation (SMETS2), is capable of precisely measuring export, whereas older meters aren’t. So deemed export should end, and measured export should begin, when a FiT customer has a Smart meter installed.

Ready for another conundrum? In most cases, FiT customers have different energy suppliers and FiT suppliers. 😫

So, when a Smart meter is installed, the FiT supplier may not know there’s now a meter installed in the house that can measure the exact electricity export to the grid, so they continue making generation and deemed export payments. In theory, FiT generators should always notify their FiT suppliers about a meter exchange. In real life, not many generators know that’s the case.

This has been a broadly recognised problem in the electricity industry. To avoid contributing to it, we’d suppressed SMETS2 installations to FiT generators while we asked for guidance from the regulator on how to move forward - we’ve got this guidance now.

If you’re a FiT generator…
We’ve been advised by the regulator that the principles of SMETS2 rollout should always stand above our concerns around FiT policy. There’s work being done to enable information about a meter exchange reaching the FiT supplier shortly after installation.
For now, we need to highlight that if you’re receiving FiT payments, you'll need to inform your FiT supplier once the Smart meter has been installed. Magnum will confirm this with you when booking your installation.

If you’re not a FiT generator…
If you installed your solar panels after 31 March 2019, then Feed-in-Tariff isn’t available for you. Once your SMETS2 has been installed, you can sign up for measured export payments under the new Smart Export Guarantee (SEG).
A number of larger suppliers launched their SEG tariffs on 1 January. You don’t need to be on supply with them to sign up for their export - just look around and find the best solution for you! We’ll be joining the group of SEG suppliers in 2021.👍

Thanks for your patience.🙂 If you have any questions let’s chat about them in the replies below!

17 replies

Please can you confirm that the payments made after installation of a SMETS 2 meter will comprise a/. Generation payment and 2/. Measured Export payment? Thank you.
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Steviewardy;48040:
Please can you confirm that the payments made after installation of a SMETS 2 meter will comprise a/. Generation payment and 2/. Measured Export payment? Thank you.


Hi,
​​​​​​​The post above explains that PP will not be offering SEG payments until 2021. Other suppliers do, as explained above
I have had my panels for over 4 years now so should not be involved with SEG payments, I think?
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Steviewardy;48057:
I have had my panels for over 4 years now so should not be involved with SEG payments, I think?


​​​​​​​If you are part of the FIT scheme, that will continue as normal ( for now), but if you do get FITs payment you should inform the supplier when you get a smart meter fitted
Thanks for that info. I look forward to booking in my SMETS2 installation from PP.
I have 2 lots of solar panels, the original 4Kwh from 7 years ago which is part of the FIT scheme and a further 8KwH which are not part of FIT. During the summer months both these intallations export to the grid.. will the SMETS2 be able to differentiate between these 2 sources of export to calculate the FIT related export to replace the deemed export payment of the FIT panels generation??
Is it correct that not many household export as much as 50% of their generation? I thought that for residential PV the average used was about 30% with 70% exported. That's close to my own experience too.
If I'm correct then most people, especially if they don't have a battery would be better off having an export meter.
So how can those with new solar panels request a smart meter?
Gemmac;48227:
So how can those with new solar panels request a smart meter?

Welcome to the community @Gemmac
Check out this FAQ 👍
Tesla boy;48090:
I have 2 lots of solar panels, the original 4Kwh from 7 years ago which is part of the FIT scheme and a further 8KwH which are not part of FIT. During the summer months both these intallations export to the grid.. will the SMETS2 be able to differentiate between these 2 sources of export to calculate the FIT related export to replace the deemed export payment of the FIT panels generation??


Hey @Tesla boy

This is a really good question...

There's no way for a meter to tell what export comes from which solar panels - all the export will be measured together as one figure.

FIT guidance requires that a supplier uses the capacity of both installations to work out what percentage of the export is paid, and what isn't - for example

Installation 1 = 4kw
Installation 2 = 2kw
Installation 1 = 66.6%
Installation 2 = 33.3%

So, if only 'Installation 1' gets FIT export payments you'd be paid for 66.6% of your total export each quarter.

We're seeking guidance on how this relates to SEG, too.

Does that help answer your question?👍
Thanks for the reply - the answer is yes. I have a Powerwall 2 so my export is approximately 750kWh per annum. My FIT generation is approximately 3000kWh so current deemed export is 1500kWh. I don't think losing 3p * 750kWh is a big issue 😁. £22 per year for the benefit of having a SMETS2 meter is worth it.....
Thanks for pointing me to the FAQs. If I'm reading that right, I can't request a smartmeter and you're not planning to roll these out in my area soon (as no moon in my app) or pay export tariffs before 2021. Please contact me directly if I've misunderstood something. Otherwise, that's a shame, I have newly installed panels and need a smartmeter to export.
Just to say, please think carefully about your future options regarding installing a SMETS2 smart meter as against the current deemed export payments IF you intend to purchase a PHEV vehicle, or export diverter to heat your hot water tank, or install batteries. If you install a SMETS2 meter and you also install any or all of those options you will no longer be paid your Deemed 50% export of your generation as you will be obliged under the new Regulations to inform the FIT supplier of your change of meter whereupon your deemed 50% payment will be recalculated, in almost all circumstances resulting in a much reduced export payment
Thank you for this. I was aware that this would be the case but decided that it is cheaper to use my energy myself rather than get paid an export payment then buy the electricity back for 3 times the price.

Please ignore the original message if you’ve already read it. I contacted Magnum Utilities directly and have booked an installation date for a Smart Meter. I’m disappointing with Pure Planet as I’ve been asking since October 2019 for a smart meter. I’ve been given a whole range of excuses why we can’t have one fitted; as recently as a few weeks ago I was told because of COVID there aren’t any installation dates. Magnum Utilities had free installation slots in my area - any weekday from 10th August to 7th September!

Thanks Sita for this info about Magnum Utilities. I too am getting irritated by Pure Planet’s lack of urgency with SMETS2 installations. I have a 5.1kWp PV system, bought a second-hand Nissan Leaf in February and had a Zappi V2 charger installed in March. From the Zappi app, I know that I export much more than 50% of my generated electricity, even after charging my car almost exclusively from home-generated power. I have been patiently waiting for the Pure Planet app to tell me I can apply for SMETS2, but, so far, no dice!

 

Also, still no action has resulted from the much-publicised Pure Planet EV trial, which has surely been running long enough to inform the PP policy makers! Time to switch to Octopus, methinks! @Nataly & @Marc can we please have some updates on both of these issues?

Also, still no action has resulted from the much-publicised Pure Planet EV trial, which has surely been running long enough to inform the PP policy makers! Time to switch to Octopus, methinks! @Nataly & @Marc can we please have some updates on both of these issues?

Hi @Surpo 

We’re currently working on an EV tariff - thanks to Members who’ve been helping us out in the EVs pillot.

I don’t yet have an exact date but I know the team are working v hard on getting something we can offer soon. 

As soon as there’s more news, the community will be the first to know! :relaxed:

 

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