The UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has unveiled a new ‘Smart Export Guarantee’ to replace the export tariff.

The country’s feed-in tariff, paid for every kWh generated, and the export tariff that remunerated people for the excess power transferred to the grid, both close on 31 March this year.

A row broke out last year over how, and indeed if, that excess power would be paid for.

Proposals unveiled by the department this morning detail how the guarantee would work in practice, legislating that all large energy suppliers will have to remunerate small-scale generators for the electricity they export to the grid.

The guarantee would see all large energy suppliers – determined as those with more than 250,000 customers – offer generators a price per kilowatt hour for exported electricity.

The government intends to leave these prices down to the suppliers themselves, however, all tariffs must be greater than zero and suppliers will not be eligible to recover costs by charging consumers at times of negative pricing.

Large suppliers will be forced to offer at least one tariff, however, they will determine the length of any contracts.

Small suppliers will be able to voluntarily join the mechanism but will be held against the same operational requirements as large suppliers.

In addition, the government has decided that all exports must be metered rather than deemed, meaning that only households with smart meters installed will be eligible for the Smart Export Guarantee.

Read more: PV Tech