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The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) enables small-scale low-carbon generators to receive payments from electricity suppliers for electricity exported to the National Grid, providing certain criteria are met. The SEG starts on 1 January 2020.

Which technologies are eligible for SEG?

There are five eligible low-carbon technology types. These are:

  1. Solar photovoltaic (solar PV)
  2. Wind
  3. Micro combined heat and power (CHP)
  4. Hydro
  5. Anaerobic digestion (AD)

These installations must be located in Great Britain and have a total installed capacity (TIC) of no more than 5MW, or no more than 50kW for Micro-CHP.

What other eligibility requirements are there?

In order to guarantee a tariff from a supplier, generators will need to meet the following criteria:

  • The installation will need a meter capable of measuring the electricity exported to the grid at half-hourly intervals. 
  • Solar PV, Wind and micro-CHP installations up to 50kW should be installed by a certified installer on the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) or an equivalent scheme.
  • AD and Hydro installations, and Solar PV and Wind installations above 50kW should meet the same standards as those required by an MCS or equivalent scheme.
  • AD installations will need to meet sustainability criteria and feedstock restrictions, administered by Ofgem.

In addition, generators will not be entitled to SEG payments if they are receiving FIT export payments.

How do I apply?

All generators with an eligible installation will need to apply to a SEG Licensee for payment for electricity exported to the National Grid. 

Please note that there is no requirement for the SEG licensee to be the same company as your energy supplier. You can choose to use separate companies for your SEG export payments, electricity supply and your gas supply if you wish.

What tariff will I receive and how long will I receive SEG payments for?

The details of SEG payments, including the amount of money received and the length of the contract, will be determined by the supplier you apply to. However, whilst wholesale electricity prices can sometimes fall below zero, SEG licensees must always offer a tariff that remains above zero. Generators are also entitled to payments based upon actual meter readings, even if some suppliers offer deals with alternative payment models.