E Environment

Households will be able to sell solar power back to energy firms

New laws, to be introduced this week, will allow consumers the right to sell solar power back to Britain’s energy companies.

Households that install new solar panels onto their rooves, from 1st January 2020, will be able to lower their energy bills. They will be able to achieve this by selling any energy they do not need to their supplier.

As solar panel owners may not be at home on sunny days, when their solar panels will produce the most amount of energy, they currently do not receive the benefits they could provide. These new rules will allow the homeowners to make money on these days if they generate electricity for the grid.

The government also wants to encourage those with solar panels to install batteries, in order to store the energy generated.

Solar energy is the most abundant renewable energy source in the world. While, also, cutting households carbon emissions- a typical home solar photovoltaic system could save around 1.3 to 1.6 tonnes of carbon per year.

In 2016, the UK saw electricity produced from solar power surpass coal power for the first time.

Recently, however, there has been a significant fall in installations after subsidies towards solar panels were scrapped by the government in April. Around 800,000 homes with solar panels already benefit from payments under a previous scheme.

Chris Skidmore, Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, said: “The future of energy is local and the new smart export guarantee will ensure households that choose to become green energy generators will be guaranteed a payment for electricity supplied to the grid.”

Labour, however, stated the government were “actively dismantling” the solar industry.

Founder of Octopus Energy, Greg Jackson, believes the proposed plans were “game-changing” and allowed citizens the power to “tackle climate change”.

He also said: “They mean homes and businesses can be paid for producing clean electricity just like traditional generators, replacing old dirty power stations and pumping more renewable energy into the grid. This will help bring down prices for everyone as we use cheaper power generated locally by our neighbours.”

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