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Are you actually receiving your solar FIT payments?

If you invest in solar panels you could make money back on the electricity you generate through the Feed-in Tariff scheme. Sounds appealing, but what happens if your energy company fails to make the payments?

The Feed-in Tariff scheme was introduced in 2010 to encourage the use of low-carbon energy. For solar panel owners, it means that you can claim payments for the energy you generate, whether you use it yourself or sell it back to the national grid.

Since it was brought in, the Feed-in Tariff scheme (FIT) has certainly caused its fair share of controversies. It’s funded by a levy on energy bills, meaning that those who don’t have solar panels end up paying money to those who do. But if you took the plunge and installed panels, how easy have you found it to get hold of the money owed?

If you’ve installed solar panels within the last two years or so, it’s likely that by now you’ll be claiming FIT payments from your energy supplier. But despite the contracts in place, we have received a number of letters, emails and phone calls from solar panel owners saying that payments have been irregular, late and in some cases not made at all.

Losing out on solar FIT payments

Your contract should tell you when you can expect to receive your FIT payments, but might lean on terms such as ‘best endeavours’ and get-out clauses. One member I spoke to said that their supplier owed them £1,000 for electricity generated for the grid, most of which had been declared in their meter readings almost six months beforehand!

This is all well and good for the energy companies’ cash flow, but not so great for our wallets. While practice such as this could be protected by the contractual terms, it seems unfair that consumers should have to lose out to this extent.

We want to investigate these late payments and find out how common they are. If you have solar panels, how long do you generally wait for your payments, compared to what your contract says?

Comments

One other thing, my energy supplier wanted me to have a smart meter. I suddenly realised that if I had a smart meter I would receive considerably less by way of payments in respect of electricity generated. I had actually got an installation booked and I cancelled that. My little display tells me when it is a good time to put the washing machine or dish washer on.

John says:
28 June 2022

Received no payment from SSE since Dec. 15th 2021. Was asked to submit photo of meter on May 19th, which I did. No payment by June 28th. Phoned SSE complaints on 0345 071 7827 and got through after 28 minutes. Was told that my 2 year verification period had run out on Dec. 15th., and my photo wasn’t clear enough so they couldn’t pay me. Have sent new photo. Why did they wait 5 months to ask for a photo, and why didn’t they inform me that the photo wasn’t good enough? If I hadn’t phoned I could have been waiting for months, if not forever.

James Nairn says:
2 July 2022

I’ve had exactly the same problem, same dates, same response – or lack of!!!

Simon says:
29 June 2022

I have discovered that with SSE they seemingly just totally ignore online reading submissions (even when submitted by the link and you get the automated response) and claim to not receive them, or at least for the last two quarters. The trouble is, as already highlighted, to clarify this or submit a reading by the phone you need a spare 45 mins to an hour between the hours of 0900 and 1400. The people who answer the phone just say there is no reading on your account.

If you complain and chase enough they’ll pay you for that quarter, but then repeat the next quarter. Suffice to say if there is no way I would go with OVO/SSE for my energy supply having dealt with them for our FIT.

Ralph Allin says:
5 July 2022

Same problem from SSE FIT payments. Just not happening. How does one complain? Hanging on the phone for a very long time. Can’t even log in. Any suggestions or links appreciated.

Kate Blagg says:
5 July 2022

I am experiencing the same problems. No payment made since January 22. This is despite at least 3 submitted readings and two photos of the meter. All I get is an automated response saying that payment will be made within the quarter. Any suggestions as to how to resolve this issue please. Been hanging on the phone for ages now.