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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    • CommentAuthorHoveTom
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2020 edited
    After a long delay I’ve managed to get my new solar PV array registered. I had to get a new EPC certificate as my old one was an E and I didn’t realise you need D or above to register Solar PV. So I had to wait until my renovation was almost complete for the inspector to sign everything off.

    I’m trying to choose a new SEG outgoing tariff so I can get paid a bit for the electricity I’m not using (no batteries) I would seem there aren’t many companies offering despite it having been around for 6 months or so.

    Social energy offer the most at 5.6 pence per unit and then Octopus energy a close second at 5.5 pence for their fixed tariff, they also offer an 'Agile' tariff which is variable depending on the whole sale price. I’m not sure how I would calculate which would be best for me?

    I’m also going to get a Solar immersion unit soon. Probably the Solic, in which case I plan to use very little gas during the summer months ( induction Hob ) so I’d like a gas tariff with a very small or no monthly standing charge as I hope to not be using any during the summer months. Is this possible?

    Thanks in advance,

    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2020 edited
    HoveTom said: "I’m trying to choose a new SEG outgoing tariff so I can get paid a bit for the electricity I’m not using (no batteries) I would seem there aren’t many companies offering despite it having been around for 6 months or so."

    There's a list at https://www.solar-trade.org.uk/seg/ and that also tells you whether you need to use the supplier's supply tariff as well.

    There are any number of firms that do supply tariff comparisons, including a discussion of zero standing charges at https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/utilities/electricity-standing-charge/ for example.
    • CommentAuthorrevor
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2020
    I am puzzled why did you need an EPC if you are not getting FIT. Think you need MCS but not EPC.
    • CommentAuthorHoveTom
    • CommentTimeJul 28th 2020 edited
    FIT has stopped for new installations, it has morphed into SEG. You'd can’t register for SEG unless your system is MCS registered but you can’t do that unless your house has an EPC certificate of D or above. As a renovation I didn’t expect to have to get a new EPC as I wasn’t aware of this until half way through. Mine was originally E. It can become a problem if you have already sealed up all the insulation in your walls, floor or roof by the time your realise and the inspector can no longer see it, as then he can’t count it. Luckily I found out in time so I was able to take some videos, from outside my house (clearly showing it was my house) and then walking in to show the relevant insulation before it was sealed up but it may be worth a phone call with a local inspector to see what evidence they’ll accept.

    From researching yesterday afternoon I'm leaning towards Gas and Electric from Octopus Energy as about the cheapest. I can’t find a cheap Gas only supply without a standing charge that compares. Bulb offer the most for your outgoing electric with the option to buy in from elsewhere but again the numbers don’t come out much better than both in and out from Octopus. There is no tie in so you can leave if something better comes along.

    I’m still not sure if their Agile or Fixed outgoing will work out better. It’s unclear if you can be on their Agile incoming tariff as well as their Agile outgoing. Agile being pegged to the wholesale market rate for electricity and checked every 30 minutes.
    Guess that would depend on when you consume and export more electricity- if you can export into the evening peak period, then the Agile offer might be good for you, but you'd need to do the sums! I'd heard something about them having apps or calculators to help you but haven't looked into it.

    Octopus also have a tariff aimed at EV charging which offers four hours of import at 5p every night. So perhaps you could sell them PV at 5.5p during the day and reimport it cheaper overnight, using them as a free 'virtual battery' ! Probably only worthwhile if you do have an EV to charge overnight, but I think it's interesting how the market for these things is starting to develop.

    Edit to add: have you done the sums for the solar diverter thingy? If you can export PV for 5.5p and import at night for 5p (or more typically 9-10p on other tariffs) then the solar diverter will save you max 4p per kWh. How many kWh of summertime hot water do you use before it pays for itself? If you can buy gas for less than 5.5p/kWh then isn't that cheaper than diverting your PV?
    • CommentAuthorGreenPaddy
    • CommentTimeJul 29th 2020
    Ditto to WiA point regarding the immersion/export minimisation device. You are essentially buying a device to reduce the amount of SEG export payment you receive.
    Your export payment and night import are the same. Don't see the sense in it.

    I do use export minimisation devices frequently, and they can be excellent in many setups (ie. pre SEG and export metering), but don't quite see the benefit for your case.

    Those were the pages I dimly remembered being available to help compare the tariffs, not official octopus pages.

    Looks like the agile export tariff is worthwhile if you have a home battery and charge it up overnight then re-export during the evening peak period. Otherwise the flat rate 5.5p might suit you better.

    (I'm not an octopus customer myself, no connection with any of these folks)
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