What is the Export Tariff?

Is the Export Tariff the same as the Feed in Tariff?


In the Export Tariff funded by taxes?

No, it is included with people’s bills

So, is the Export Tariff a subsidy?

No, it is a method for people with solar to sell electricity to the grid at market rates (when you include the losses in transmission)

So, what does the government want to do?

The Export tariff will end on the 29th March 2019. This means that any electricity exported from a new domestic solar PV array will be given to the grid for free, and then the energy companies sell this electricity back at a profit

I need a metaphor to understand this

Imagine you grow your own food, and grow too much for yourself. You are banned from selling it, but someone from Sainsbury’s comes in to your garden, steals your food and sells it to your neighbours. Unfair, right? Well that’s what the government is doing to solar

Is that legal?

Under EU rules, probably not, so it depends on the Brexit deal as to if the government is allowed to do this.

But doesn’t this only effect rich homeowners? I heard on BBC File on Four people get a 12% rate of return on solar installation investments.

That’s not true, the highest rate of return was 11% in 2011. Since then, the rate of return has substantially decreased. Also, that’s talking about the Feed in Tariff, not the Export Tariff

But still, it only effects rich homeowners with cash to spare right?

No, the solar industry in 2015 employed 36,000 hard working people. Since various anti-solar policies came in, this has dropped to maybe 15,000 people. These are direct jobs, there are additional jobs supported, such as scaffolds. The loss of the Export Tariff will result in thousands more job losses.

Also, as well as supporting many small British companies, solar is used by social housing landlords, hospitals, schools, community energy projects and a range of other organisations.

But the government is supporting solar in other ways?

No, from the “solar tax” element of business rates, making the grid connection process more complex, reducing the Feed in Tariff by random large amounts (sometimes illegally), and also removing rules to have renewables on new build, the solar industry has not had a positive experience of government policy.

But the UK is really dark anyway, surely solar doesn’t make much electricity?

In 2018, on a sunny summer day at midday solar generated up to 27% of UK electricity. The UK has 12GW of solar.

Why is the Export Tariff removal happening?

We don’t know

Can I do anything about this?


  1. First, sign this petition: https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/page/s/stop-the-solar-attack
  2. If you run a company, sign this letter: https://www.solar-trade.org.uk/sign-letter-on-export-tariffs/
  3. Then, write to your MP through this link: https://1010uk.org/supportsolar (or write independently)
  4. Next, go and see your MP, find their details from: https://www.theyworkforyou.com

More info at: http://www.solar-trade.org.uk/campaigns/fair4solar

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2 responses to “What is the Export Tariff?”

  1. Simon says:

    There is actually a technical solution that does not involve an export tariff . The export tariff is actually an additional cost borne by end consumers and with out careful design wouild effective lead to consumers double paying for the excess solar energy once via an export tariff and once via spill psyment thst is included in costs born by suppliers . Assuming that the solar provider has a two way hh meters the benefit of the extra power currently goes to the supplier (not other generators) and the supplier receives “spill” price from the market for the aditional energy. The simple solution is to ask the supplier to credit the spill payment to the solar provider then eveyone is happy. At the moment excess metered energy is a benifts to the market and we all pay for it an export tariff would simply mean that consumer are paying twice for the energy. The missing link is that the supplier currently keeps the benift but they should pass it on.

  2. I love your writing
    What are the brexit impacts on UK stock market that topic is also can you please share more about this topic also:


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