Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) Explained

Get a quote in minutes Compare top UK suppliers Best price guarantee

Trustpilot Logo

Rated Excellent on Trustpilot
(Over 2,500 Reviews)

Get immediate pricing Save up to 65%
Choose your business address

Can’t see the address? Enter manually

Are you comparing for a business or home?

Business

Home


Go Back
Select Utility
Now please select a utility I want to get prices for...
Gas
Electric
Gas & Electric
Water
Go Back
Next
Please enter your business gas information
How much do you spend & how often?

An estimate is fine if you don't have a bill to hand

Go Back
Get Prices

Let’s save time, can we automatically gather meter information?

? What does this mean?
To get your quotes at lightening speed we need several key pieces of information which can all be found on your electricity bill. But by simply ticking this box, we can search ‘industry held data’ to get your meter number, electricity consumption and current energy supplier. This means that we can get you quick quotes without asking you to dig out all of your paperwork. This is personal data therefore we need you to allow us to access this information.
Go Back

Do you know your electric meter number?

Does your meter number end in any of the following?

Go Back
Enter meter number
I don’t know
Please enter your business electricity information
How much do you spend & how often?

An estimate is fine if you don't have a bill to hand

Start date for a new contract?
Get Prices
Please enter your water information
How much do you spend & how often?

An estimate is fine if you don't have a bill to hand

Go Back
Get Prices

    Enter your details below to get quotes We’ve helped over 90,000 businesses
    Trustpilot Logo

    Rated Excellent on Trustpilot
    (Over 2,500 Reviews)

    Contents

    Guide Author

    James Longley

    Managing Director

    min read
    Last Updated May 10, 2024

    If you produce renewable electricity and live in England, Scotland, or Wales, you might be eligible for a Smart Export Guarantee tariff. However, this is not available in Northern Ireland. Certain energy suppliers might have their tariffs for exporting electricity, and regulated ones must offer terms for microgenerators.

    The Smart Export Guarantee ensures that people who generate their electricity get paid for the surplus they feed back into the grid. However, you have to sign up for this tariff as it does not happen automatically. The SEG tariff compensates homeowners for ‘excess green electricity‘ they export back to the grid.

    Under this scheme, larger energy companies with over 150,000 customers must offer at least one SEG tariff. Smaller suppliers can also choose to offer export tariffs if they wish. Additionally, suppliers can offer alternative payment methods for exported electricity alongside the Smart Export Guarantee.

    TELCA 2022 Banner

    Are you eligible for a smart export guarantee tariff?

    You might qualify if you generate green electricity with one of these renewable electricity generation technologies:

    • Solar panels
    • Wind turbines
    • Hydroelectricity
    • Anaerobic digestion
    • Micro combined heat and power (micro-CHP)

    These technologies are part of a green electricity generating system that qualifies for the SEG tariff, provided they meet certain criteria.

    For micro-CHP, it should produce 50kW or less electricity, while other technologies should generate 5MW or less.

    Typical home systems usually fall within these size limits.

    Both the technology and installer must be certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) or an equivalent. Energy suppliers might ask for your MCS certificate to confirm your installation meets this standard.

    You will also need a smart meter registered to record your exported electricity, even if you are not joining a smart tariff.

    How to apply for a SEG tariff?

    To begin receiving payments, you must apply directly to a SEG tariff provider. Ofgem releases a list of SEG licensees annually. Your SEG provider does not necessarily have to be the same company that supplies your energy. It is important to compare multiple SEG providers to ensure you get the most beneficial deal for your situation. Applicants must have an ‘export meter’ installed to participate in the SEG tariff. Additionally, ‘export meter readings’ are essential for calculating SEG payments, as they accurately track the amount of electricity exported back to the grid.

    Can you combine SEG with other grants and financial support?

    Certainly, you are eligible to for SEG payments.

    These payments are not tied to other financial support for renewable energy installations. Therefore, if you qualify, you can combine payments with other forms of financial assistance.

    However, you cannot receive payments from multiple suppliers simultaneously

    What's the difference between the Smart Export Guarantee and Feed-In Tariffs?

    Introduced in 2010, the FiT scheme pays owners of renewable energy systems for the electricity they produce. Participants can also sell surplus energy to their provider, though new applications are not accepted.

    On the other hand, the Smart Export Guarantee scheme only rewards customers for extra energy they generate and don’t use.

    Unlike FiT, where the government sets the export price, SEG lets energy suppliers decide. Rates vary by supplier, and payments are based on meter readings, staying above zero even when wholesale electricity prices drop.

    If you are already receiving Feed-in Tariff (FIT) payments for your installation, you will keep getting them until your contract ends. The SEG will not change this.

    You cannot receive both FIT export and SEG payments simultaneously. However, you have the option to opt out of your FIT export payments and receive SEG payments instead. Meanwhile, you can still receive FIT generation payments.

    The FIT scheme closed to new applicants in March 2019. After that, the government acknowledged the importance of compensating small-scale renewable energy generators for their exported electricity. This led to the introduction of the SEG.

    What should I do if I already have a Feed-in Tariff?

    There’s no need for action on your part. Your FiT payment arrangement will remain active for its duration.

    Switching to an SEG tariff may not yield as much income. Unlike FiT, SEG tariffs compensate only for surplus renewable energy exported, not for energy consumed.

    If you choose to transition to the Smart Export Guarantee, you must opt out of FiT as you cannot receive payments from both schemes simultaneously.

    Can you get the smart export guarantee with an energy storage system?

    Even if you have an energy storage system in your renewable installation, you can still apply for the SEG. For instance, your battery can store electricity from the grid and then export it later.

    Energy suppliers are not obliged to compensate you for non-renewable electricity exported to the grid, but some may opt to do so.

    Certain suppliers might only pay the SEG for the electricity your low-carbon system produces itself. If this applies to you, the supplier may request evidence of how you distinguish between generated electricity and electricity sourced from the grid.

    Which energy suppliers offer SEG tariffs?

    Every licensed energy supplier serving over 150,000 customers must provide a SEG tariff. This requirement extends to major suppliers like Octopus, British Gas, Scottish Power, and E.ON.

    Are you able to stay with the same company that supplies your energy?

    You’re not obligated to stick with your current energy provider; you can choose the one offering the most competitive rate. Yet, staying with your current supplier might result in a better rate, given your existing customer status. Compare business gas and electricity rates with Utility Bidder now.

    What alternatives are there to SEG tariffs?

    Aside from the SEG, energy suppliers are providing similar arrangements by offering customers fixed tariffs for the electricity they export to the grid.

    These deals are tailored to individual households and may involve separate metering for generation and supply. They might also come with time limits and other requirements, like purchasing your supplied electricity from the same supplier.

    It is crucial to carefully review all terms and conditions to make an informed decision. Export tariff options vary and can influence the decision of homeowners, especially those with solar PV systems, when choosing between SEG and alternative tariffs.

    Get the best prices and deals on your utilities

    Immediate pricing access to almost all UK suppliers

    Utility Bidder
    Business Gas

    Business Gas

    Immediate pricing access to all major UK gas suppliers. We can save you upto 65% on your business gas prices.

    Business Electricity

    Business Electricity

    We manage 20,000 electric meters for our commercial customers – So you’re in safe hands.

    Business Energy

    Business Energy

    We’ll find the best prices and provide you with a hassle free service for both your business gas and electricity….

    Business Water

    Business Water

    With our help. You’ll get a better quality service, lower water bills and better value for money.

    Compare business energy quotes, business gas prices and business electricity rates

    It only takes a couple of minutes to save £100's on your utility bills

    Go Back
    x

    Get your estimated savings in minutes

    We compare live prices from 27+ suppliers

    Get a quote in minutes Compare top UK suppliers Best price guarantee

    Trustpilot Logo

    Rated Excellent on Trustpilot
    (Over 2,500 Reviews)

    Get immediate pricing Save up to 65%
    Choose your business address

    Can’t see the address? Enter manually

    Are you comparing for a business or home?

    Business

    Home


    Go Back
    Select Utility
    Now please select a utility I want to get prices for...
    Gas
    Electric
    Gas & Electric
    Water
    Go Back
    Next
    Please enter your business gas information
    How much do you spend & how often?

    An estimate is fine if you don't have a bill to hand

    Go Back
    Get Prices

    Let’s save time, can we automatically gather meter information?

    ? What does this mean?
    To get your quotes at lightening speed we need several key pieces of information which can all be found on your electricity bill. But by simply ticking this box, we can search ‘industry held data’ to get your meter number, electricity consumption and current energy supplier. This means that we can get you quick quotes without asking you to dig out all of your paperwork. This is personal data therefore we need you to allow us to access this information.
    Go Back

    Do you know your electric meter number?

    Does your meter number end in any of the following?

    Go Back
    Enter meter number
    I don’t know
    Please enter your business electricity information
    How much do you spend & how often?

    An estimate is fine if you don't have a bill to hand

    Start date for a new contract?
    Get Prices
    Please enter your water information
    How much do you spend & how often?

    An estimate is fine if you don't have a bill to hand

    Go Back
    Get Prices

      Enter your details below to get quotes We’ve helped over 90,000 businesses