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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
Member

I have had very slow FIT payments from SSE last year (2014) thing did improve for the fist part of 2015. However, my quarter ending in August has been refused as I have not done the Annual Declaration.
OK it would be nice to either be sent the document or how to download it and send to SSE. I guess when this is done they will need to read the FIT meter. Perhaps, I will have to get a batch of forms to post in each year?

Its all good fun?

Member
stephen allen says:
9 October 2015

We also am with SSE and we are also still trying to get our FIT payment back as no one seems that bothered
in helping may be better to change all to another supplier ?
Mr & Mrs Allen

Member

We used to get our gas and electric from SSE and we never had any problems with getting our payments. Once we left for another supplier we have nothing but trouble getting our payments and they say this is nothing to do with it. We were told it was down to a new system that was being installed and once this was done payments would be speeder up. This is complete nonsence it is worse than ever. We were told that once the system was in place any payments under £200 would be paid within 2/3 days and anything over £200 would be with 5/7 days. This has never been the case and when we asked about this we were to!d that we should not have been made aware of this. Why does it only take a day for them to know how much you are due but then take so long for the payment to be processed. We rang up again Friday about our reading we gave 4th September and the told us it was waiting for approval which could take another couple of weeks. It is pathetic, it is our money so they should pay it within the 2-7 days as we were told. They just come up with excuse after excuse, and something should be done about it.

Member

I have not had any payment for over a year from SSE. They wrote to me saying that they were changing over to a new system and I need not contact them as they would contact me when they wanted a reading. A few weeks ago someone came to the house to read the meter. I have no correspondence from SSE and the original link to the FIT website does not work anymore. I feel totally disgruntled with the service and am questioning why I ever had solar panels fitted. I am now considering contacting Gemsurf regulate as this is surely unacceptable to leave customers waiting for payments this long and not even having the courtesy to update customers regarding changes.

Member

For the last quarter, I tried submitting my FITS reading to SSE via the submission form on their website. Within about a week, I received a statement from them for £0.00! In calculating my kWh generated they had deducted the previous quarters reading not from the newly submitted reading but the previous quarters reading resulting in generation of 0 kWh and a payment of £0.00. Is this just total incompetence on their part or do they do it deliberately to delay payment?

I suspect I’m now going to have some hassle in trying to get the matter rectified. Anyone know an effective way to get a fast resolution?

Member

Hi I am with SSE and it has helped me sometimes when I emailed all the following. This time though they have said to contact Sales. I put my reading in on the 7th of Oct but still haven’t seen any cheque. They say it can take up to 60 days so I had to ask why but surprisingly enough they never did explain. microgeneration@sse.com. I also had a similar problem with a invoice saying they owed me nothing but they owed me nearly £300 . Good luck,hope this helps

Member

Hi
I also received the same statement showing 0kWh generation and payment of £0.00. Just wondering if you have had any joy. I am just about to contact SSE.

Member

As of 21 October 15 SSE still owe me over £1000 if FIT payments from four months ago despite numerous phone calls, emails. The last call four weeks ago and the ‘advisor’ promised me the payment would be processed within 3 days. I am writing this as I wait for their helpline to answer my call, currently lasting 8 minutes 35 seconds and counting.

Their message talks about going green – go with SSE and you will go red with anger!

Member

Don’t ring the helpline or the normal FIT team – they don’t seemt o be ‘FIT’ for purpose!!!! ring the complaints team (0800 975 0502)