How does Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) work?

Are you aware that companies with solar panels can still make money from selling surplus energy to the National Grid even though the Feed-In Tariff has ended? Fortunately, you can as well! Companies that export renewable energy to large energy suppliers via the National Grid, are now paid to do so under the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG).

Smart Export Guarantee (SEG)

When you choose a sustainable self-generation technology – dependant on your installation size and energy production, you may be able to generate revenue through the Smart Export Guarantee.

Since 2020, energy companies have to provide in the SEG tariff, meaning you can get paid for every unit of electricity you supply to the grid. Some smaller companies also offer SEG tariff payments – you can check with your supplier.

That said, the SEG tariff operates slightly differently than the previous Feed-in tariff (closed to new applicants in March 2019), with payments made on the excess electricity you put back into the National Grid. No longer being paid for all the electricity you generate regardless of the usage as per the old tariff. You also have to sign up for a SEG tariff – you won’t get paid for your exported electricity if you don’t sign up.

You can find a list of suppliers that currently offer SEG tariffs here.


Am I eligible for the Smart Export Guarantee tariff?

If you install solar panels meeting the following criteria, then the answer is yes:

  • Your installation is 5MW capacity or less (50kW for micro-CHP).
  • A meter that can provide half-hourly readings for electricity export.
  • The installation is MCS-certified.
  • You own your installation and are not utilising solar PV via a Power Purchase Agreement.


How much will I gain with the SEG?

You will need to survey your options and find a tariff that works best for you. Energy companies set their own SEG prices, and there can be a big difference between payment tariffs. It is important to note, you can also choose a different supplier to sell your electricity to than the one you buy your electricity from.

Different tariffs also have rules around whether you can be paid money for electricity stored in a battery. So, please do check the tariff details if opting for a sustainable solution with battery storage.


Is installing solar PV still worth it to take advantage of SEG?

As a technology provider and consultant, we will always advise on a system specification based on your operation and estimated energy consumption. 

At the present time, we ensure all our systems maximise your on-site usage of generated energy, minimising energy export where possible. Currently the achievable savings on energy bills quite significantly outweigh the value of the SEG payments; therefore we recommend that SEG export energy is minimal for most of our clients.

Adopting solar PV via this considered approach, generates a sensible investment that delivers savings on your energy bills, and can offer you protection against rising energy prices. 

If excess does become generated or your day-to-day operating usage changes, the SEG tariff can add a monetary return from your electricity generation. We would certainly advise you to sign up to a SEG tariff for this reason. 


When we provide our clients a proposal, we wouldn’t currently maximise a system size or ‘fill your roof’, as this reduces your return on investment time – we want our clients to maximise their savings as soon as possible. We certainly wouldn’t recommend a larger system size just to take advantage of the current SEG tariff payments.

If you’d like to know more about buying a considered and tailored solar PV system for your business, leave us a message here where one of our sustainability consultants will be in touch.


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