We all want to live in a cleaner, greener Ireland. And thousands of Irish homes have already made the move to reduce their carbon footprint and save on their energy bills with microgeneration installs.
What is microgeneration?
Microgeneration is the general term used to refer to small-scale generation of electricity from renewable technologies, such as solar PV, wind power and combined heat and power (CHP). This type of generation allows domestic customers to produce their own electricity on site, as an alternative or supplement to electricity imported from the grid.
As well as meeting some, or all, of your home’s electricity demand, from early 2022 microgeneration is set to take a step forward with the introduction of the Clean Export Guarantee (CEG). This means that while the majority of the energy produced will be used to power your home, from time to time, when there is surplus electricity from your microgeneration you can export this to the grid and receive a payment for it. By reducing your offtake and increasing the volume of renewable energy supplied to the grid you can actively contribute to a greener, cleaner Ireland while reducing your own energy bills. A great deal for you and a great deal for the environment.
If you’re interested in microgeneration for your home click here for more information on Solar PV installation from our partners, Activ8 Solar Energies.
However, if you already have a microgeneration install there are a few things, you’ll need to do in order to receive the payment as soon as it becomes available.
1. Complete the NC6 form
To be eligible for payments ESB Networks first need to be notified of your microgeneration install so they can start recording your export to the grid. This is done by completing an NC6 form. This would have been completed with your technician at the time of installation.
However, if you’re not sure if the NC6 form has previously been submitted, please contact ESB Networks.
If an NC6 form has not been submitted, please contact your installation company to complete this and return to ESB Networks as soon as possible.
For a step-by-step guide on Microgen connection, please contact ESB Networks.
2. Check your meter type
It’s important to note what type of meter is installed in your home as this will impact what type of payment you can expect to receive for exported electricity.
- If you have a smart meter already installed, just make sure you have completed your NC6 form and returned it to ESB Networks and you will be paid based on your actual export data. There is no requirement for you to have Smart Services activated on your Smart Meter e.g. a Smart Tariff . This does not affect measuring of export data.
- If you have a 24-hour non smart meter (MCC01) currently you will need to complete the NC6 form and have a smart meter installed to receive the export payment. ESB Networks are working their way through all eligible customers and will exchange your meter within 4 months. Once your smart meter is installed you will be paid based on your actual export data.
- If you have any other meter type than a 24 hour or smart meter, until you become eligible for a smart meter your export payments will be based on a deemed export value. As you transition towards eligibility for a smart meter, you will also move towards actual export data. For more information on the roll-out of smart meters, please contact ESB Networks.
Types of payment
SSE Airtricity customers with microgeneration who meet the eligibility criteria (completed NC6 form and smart meter installed) will be paid a measured Clean Export Guarantee for the export at a per kWh basis. Any SSE Airtricity customers with microgeneration but without a smart meter, will be paid based on a deemed Clean Export Guarantee at a per kWh basis.
- The measured Clean Export Guarantee (CEG) is the government policy name for the export tariff that all energy suppliers will pay to customers. The rates will be set by each supplier on a per kWh basis and is intended to reflect the value of the export to the grid. This means your actual export to the grid will be measured and you will be paid accordingly.
- A Deemed Clean Export Guarantee assumes that the majority of the electricity generated is being used in the home and, in the absence of a smart meter to record actual consumption, the surplus energy exported is decided based on a calculation set by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU). SSE Airtricity have no role in determining the export value for these microgeneration customers.
How is the deemed export calculated?
The calculation of the deemed export is based on the following factors and has been set by the CRU.
- MEC: Maximum Export Capacity. This will come from your NC6 form submitted to ESB Networks
- Capacity Factor: A calculation from the CRU set at 9.7%
- Export Factor: A calculation from the CRU set at 35%
- Provisional interval: A calculation used for solar installations that takes account of how microgeneration works in practice during the day and from season to season.
It’s important to note that payment of the measured and deemed Clean Export Guarantee is entirely separate from any grants you have received (or may be considering) that support the upfront costs of your Microgen installation. You can discuss grant options with your installation technician or find out more from the SEAI.
When can you expect to receive a payment?
SSE Airtricity is working to develop payment arrangements for customers with microgeneration. We expect these payments to begin by summer of 2022 when we start receiving your export data from ESB Networks.