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Feed-in tariffs

Households and communities who install electricity generating technologies such as small wind turbines will be entitled to claim payments for the low carbon electricity they produce from April 2010.

The scheme guarantees a minimum payment for all electricity generated by wind turbines (of less than 5MW), as well as a separate payment for the electricity exported to grid. These payments are in addition to the bill savings made by using the electricity generated on-site.

  • The generation tariff is a set rate paid by the energy supplier for each unit or kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity generated. The rate will change each year for new entrants to the scheme except for the first 2 years, but once people join they will continue on the same tariff for 20 years, or 25 years in the case of solar electricity. The amount varies from 4.5p/kWh to 41.3p/kWh depending on the technology. For wind turbines operating between 1.5 – 15kW it is 26.7p/kWh. It is important to note that all generation will need to be metered.
  • The export tariff relates to each unit of electricity exported back to the grid i.e. electricity that is not used up on site. Customers can either opt for a guaranteed 3p/kWh from their energy supplier or can opt to sell their electricity on the open market.
  • The displaced import tariff is electricity displaced but that would have been purchased at retail price i.e. the bill saving that can be made. Between 10p and 15p/kWhr is available for the displaced import tariff.

Both the generation tariff and export tariff will be linked to the Retail Price index (RPI) to alter with inflation. Feed-in tariff income for domestic properties, generating electricity mainly for their own use will not be taxable income for the purposes of income tax.

The amount that can be saved on energy bills will vary depending on how much electricity is used on site and rates of return will depend significantly on the conditions of individual installations, both the amount of resource (e.g. wind) and electricity demand.

Qualification for feed-in tariffs schemes post April 2010 is dependent on the products and installers of products being Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) certified.

Quietrevolution wind turbines and the installers we use are MCS, or are very close to being MCS, certified.

Feed-in tariff calculation

The following is intended to give an idea of the income that can be generated from installing a vertical axis wind turbine.

The quietrevolution qr5 turbine

Energy generated on a typical site: 5,700kWh per year based on an average wind speed of 6.3m/s. (Note the qr5 can generate up to 7,500kWh per year in higher wind speeds).

Typical capital outlay (without subsidy or grants) for installing a qr5 wind turbine: £26,000.00

Generation tariff: 26.7p/kWh

Export tariff: 3p/kWh

Displaced import tariff (i.e. electricity displaced but that would have been purchased at retail price): between 10p and 15p/kWh.

5,700kWh/yr x 26.7p/kWh = a generation income of £1521.90 per year

1,140kWh/yr x 3p/kWh (assuming 20% of energy generated can be exported) = an export income of £34.20 per year

4,560kWh/yr x 15p/kWh (assuming 80% bill savings made by the electricity generated on site) = import benefit of £684.00 per year

Total: income from generation tariff and export tariff + bill saving = £2240.10 per year.

Based on a £26,000.00 outlay the wind turbine will pay for itself in approximately 11.6 years.

Depending on the grants or subsidies available for renewable energy schemes the payback period could be reduced further and it is also worth considering that feed-in tariffs are not a taxable benefit.

For further information and advice you can visit:

Please contact us if you would like further information on this scheme.

UK wind energy

The UK has the largest wind resource of any country in Europe, making it the ideal choice for a renewable source of energy.

UK wind distribution

A traditional horizontal axis wind turbine (HAWT) has to rotate to track wind.

Traditional HAWT design

A vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) collects wind from all directions without tracking.

New VAWT design

This type of wind turbine is ideally suited to the built environment with their small footprint and quiet operation.