Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Sunny Beam Monitor and New Solar PV FiT rates April 1st 2013.

As many of you will be aware, index linked FiT rates will increase by 3.1% Retail Price Indices on April 1st 2013 based on December 2012 retail price index (RPI) rate.
The government has reduced the FiT rate at various times based on the installation date. The figures below will give an indication of your existing rates and how they will be affected. 

    FiT Rates 01/04/2013
rise to 
rise to 
rise to 

   Export Rates 01/04/2013
rise to 
rise to 

If you have a Sunny Beam Monitor you will need to amend the FiT rate to reflect the new tariff value from April 1st. 

Mine for example is set currently at £0.47p. (45.4p + 1.6p export rate.)
On Monday 1st April I will be alter my Sunny Beam monitor to reflect the new value (46.81p + 1.65p) =  £0.4846p.

The unfortunate side affect of altering the rate is that ALL your previous output will be priced at the new rate. If you want to keep the next years production separate, you need to alter the settings on your monitor. 

Here's how....

On your monitor select >Settings/PV Plant/Offset Energy Meter.


PV Plant

Offset Energy Meter

Select your Inverter

Scroll down and select "Display."

Amend the total to read the total you've generated SINCE the rate change. If you were altering it on the 2nd April 2013 it would be yesterday and today's output in total.
Save the details.

You can now alter the FiT rate you will be paid at for the next year.On the monitor select >Settings/Display Options/Balance Coefficients. Select Revenue/kWh and amend value to reflect new FiT value.

Your monitor will now display the income for the output from the relevant date at the new rate. All of your previous monthly information will be retained along with the visual displays. You can revert back to all information by removing the "Offset" figures at any time.

Good luck...

Icarus Twitter: (@solaricarus)


  1. My next FIT reading is due to go to E.ON on the 6th May.

    This year, as for last year, I am sending in two readings for the period, an interim reading dated 31 March - the day before the FIT rate increase, and the final reading dated 21 May.

    Last year E.ON issued two calculations for the period using my figures: 21 Feb to 31 March at the Generation Tariff Rate of 43.3p and 1 April to 6 May at 45.4p.

    If I'd not given the two readings how would they have calculated the payment due? I suspect that they would have divided my kWh generated by the number of days in the period, 91, to give an average daily output and then paid 39 days times the average at the old rate and 52 at the new.

    So far this period I have 21 Feb to 31 March (38 days) output of 284.3 kWh (average 7.48 kWh) and 1 to 9 April (9 days) 177.90 kWh (average 19.76 kWh).

    Do you see why I think is best to make an interim reading?

    1. Hi Geoff
      As you may be aware I'm not a huge fan of Npower, but in fairness to them they do have the very sensible policy of taking their quarterly readings exactly on the quarter months. I sent my reading on the 31st March for the first quarter, so the new tariff rates always work perfectly.
      E.ON must be stupid to ignore the April 1st date, it must make life harder for them and consumers.

      You do realise you can switch FiT providers at any time? The rates are universal, so it's all down to service.

  2. Hi,
    Slight correction you refer to CPI and link to that, but you mention 3.1% which is the December 2012 RPI increase and per OFGEM is the amount by which the FIT is going up. Sorry to be pedantic but it got me confused so thought it worth pointing out.

  3. Whoops...Thank you for the correction "Anonymous" whoever you are. You quite rightly point out that the FiT rate increases by the RPI rate in December, not the CPI rate as I originally stated.
    I have amended the post accordingly.

  4. Thankyou so much for the above instruction Solaricarus, seamless transition to the new tariff and current generation. Vicki

  5. I'm with SSE and supply quarterly readings at 30 June, 30 Sept, 31 Dec and 31 March so there is no confusion about the correct Ofgem FiT rate. Like you I'm on the 46.8p rate at present.

    The problem is that SSE have to be chased up as in October, despite supplying a reading via their web interface AND by email they claimed they'd not received it. I got paid by the end of October though. SSE are dilatory in responding to emails and after the deafening lack of acknowledgement of my most recent (31 Dec) reading, I rang them. Apparently they'd 'had a problem with the database' but I was told what I should get once I verbally gave them a reading. I then received the payment before the end of January.

    Now I had toyed with the idea of going to Good Energy which deals with thousands of renewable installations and is 100% renewables supplied. But I was told by them that they could take two months to ten weeks to make the FiT payment to me. I queried this. This was their reply:
    "The reason it takes us that long to make payments is because we are a relatively small supplier. We don’t have the spare funds to pay our customers until we receive the money from Ofgem – our last claim to Ofgem for FIT payments came to approximately £14,000,000.

    "This explains the payment process in more detail. This applies to each FIT licensee, whatever the size of the business.

    "Payments to generators who are registered on the Feed-in Tariff are managed by energy suppliers within a process called the levelisation process. This is how it works;

    "Once a quarter Good Energy will request a meter reading from you. These are fixed calendar quarters, and are the same for all generators regardless of the date you registered for FIT.

    "Good Energy submits payment claim to OFGEM. As payments under the Feed-in Tariff are made from a central fund managed by OFGEM, Good Energy needs to submit a claim on behalf of our FIT generators to receive payments from the fund. This is done after ALL meter readings are received from generators, within 2 weeks from the end of the quarter.

    "OFGEM pays Good Energy. Once all payment claims have been received, OFGEM invoices the energy suppliers for their contribution into the fund. Energy suppliers pay into the fund in proportion to the number of electricity customers that they have. Once these payments are received from the energy suppliers, OFGEM then pays each FIT licensee the payment amount they have claimed on behalf of their FIT generators. This is done around 6 weeks after the end of each quarter.

    "Then Good Energy pays generators. Once Good Energy receives payment from OFGEM we process and pay the relevant amount to each FIT generator by bank transfer.

    "I hope that this detailed explanation of the process might encourage you to reconsider…."

    It didnt! What a crazy system. The Big Six are able to pay generators much more quickly because of the funds they have. The little companies have to wait for their crumbs from the table. Ofgem as 'middleman' ought to have funding so that all generators get paid swiftly and fairly - as otherwise it's the generators for the Big Six energy companies that get paid sooner.

    Thanks for the reminder about 1 April and the RPI FiT changes!

    1. Hi Chris.
      Good points as always. I find it hard to understand Ofgem's role. What are they supposed to be doing?
      It's very hard to find any evidence that their role makes ANY difference to the industry, or more importantly, the consumer.
      I think it's time for a re-think and for them to go...

      My FiT provider is Npower (blessings be upon them). They're surprisingly good, sending confirmation emails when you supply meter readings and NORMALLY paying within a month. In fairness to them and the points you make about Ofgem tardiness they state in all their paperwork that FiT payments may take up to 60 days.
      What a crazy system...

  6. I agree. You can understand why the Big Six want central government to call FiT a 'green tax' but from a generator's perspective it's rough justice because it's arbitrary as to whether you get paid with 4 weeks or 10 weeks. Thus a government regulator, more 'independent' than the current OfGem one, could require pre-estimated levelisation payments be made to the Regulator on 1st of each quarter by each energy company. Within 2 weeks it could then make payments to all generators. Any companies that had overpaid the Regulator in terms of having had less power generated and resold, would then be refunded within another two weeks. Moreover a discount could be applied to the payments made by green energy companies to OffGem (like Good Energy) that positively rely on renewables for their energy source. Simples

    1. I 100% agree.
      A simple and elegant solution to the shambles.
      I'm voting "Chrisso" at the next election.