Good Energy and F&S Energy to pay £800,000 in compensation for unauthorised FiT charges

FiT customers range from households that just have a few solar panels on their roofs to those with whole solar farms or multiple wind turbines. Image: Piqsels.

Good Energy Limited and F&S Energy Limited are set to pay a total of £800,000 in compensation to Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) customers.

This follows an investigation by Ofgem which found a number of customers were charged an unauthorised administration fee from their licensees.

Good Energy was found to have implemented this administration charge on a quarterly basis of £25 per installation. This affected 500 of its more than 182,000 FiT customers per quarter, with 1,167 customers having had the charge applied at least once.

It has agreed to refund £453,000 as well as making a goodwill payment of over £200,000.

F&S Energy meanwhile was found to have applied an unauthorised quarterly administration charge of £100 (previously £20) per installation, affecting 80 of its total 455 FiT customers. Additionally, it had applied an unauthorised verification charge once every two years of £55 (previously £100) per installation, which affected 453 customers

The company has agreed to refund £94,040, inclusive of VAT, as well as a goodwill payment of £50,000, excluding VAT.

“A priority for Ofgem is reaching Net Zero at the lowest cost to consumers in both a sustainable and efficient way,” said Cathryn Scott, director of Enforcement and Emerging Issues.

“It is important that those companies partaking in decarbonisation schemes remain compliant, and that renewable generation is appropriately incentivised in line with government policy.”

Good Energy customers can expect to receive £25 back per installation for each charged applied, plus VAT, a 3.3% uplift to the refund and a goodwill payment.

Some customers will be refunded directly by the end of October, while others will receive it by the end of November 2022. Affected FiT customers have been contacted by Good Energy.

Impacted F&S Energy customers can expect to get £100 or £20 back per installation for each quarterly charge that was applied to them, as well as £55 or £100 for each biennial meter verification charge applied, plus VAT and the goodwill payment gesture.

Customers can expect this to be refunded directly to their accounts by the end of November 2022.

“The outcome of this matter sends a clear reminder to suppliers that they must comply with their obligations under the decarbonisation schemes and ensure that FIT customers receive payments they are entitled to for their renewable generation,” added Scott.

“This scheme forms a key part of the range of energy market reforms designed to reduce Britain’s reliance on expensive gas imports and accelerate the transition towards cleaner and more secure supplies of home-grown energy.”

The FiT scheme was introduced on 1 April 2010 by the government to help drive the uptake of renewables. It requires licenses electricity suppliers to make payments to FiT customers that generate and export power from accredited installations.

Customers range from households that just have a few solar panels on their roofs – these are often referred to as MCS Scale (small scale) FiT customers – to those with whole solar farms or multiple wind turbines – known as ROOFIT (large scale) FiT customers.

Providing these customers with payments at the level they are entitled to is design to create a financial incentive for the generation of electricity from renewable sources.

The FiT closed to domestic solar at the end of 2019, and was replaced with the Smart Export Guarantee. While this is open to other technologies, 99.8% of registered installations are solar PV.  

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