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SEG interest holds firm as some suppliers eye further developments

Interest remains high in SEG tariffs from some suppliers. Image: Maria Godfrida (Pixabay).

While some energy suppliers are continuing to see strong interest in Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) tariffs, others are remaining tight-lipped about their popularity.

Solar Power Portal recently reached out to a number of suppliers offering SEG-compliant tariffs, with Octopus Energy in particular continuing to see “a lot of interest” in its tariffs. This is particularly exciting, according to the company’s future technologies evangelist, Phil Steele, as the tariffs are now two-years old, having been the first to market.

He said that interest doesn’t seem to have slowed down, with a few thousand customers in the process of joining up to the tariffs and tens of thousands of customers already signed up.

“Seeing interest in these kinds of tariffs ramp up more and more is very exciting – and we’ll continue to use all our tentacles to drive forward the green revolution,” said Steele. 

High levels of interest are also being seen by Bulb, with the company telling Solar Power Portal that between April 2019 and March 2020, almost 3,000 customers generated 6,049MWh of renewable electricity. For Bulb customers, the supplier pays 5.57p/kWh, and for those that get their electricity from another supplier, Bulb pays its standard rate of 3p/kWh.

The company is also supporting customers with solar panels to lower their bills and their carbon emissions with a home battery trial, which involves helping customers with the cost of a home battery, as well as early access to an app, to see how much they could save by storing excess solar energy.

EDF, meanwhile, said that the uptake of its SEG offerings has been on par with what was expected. There has been, however, a small increase in the number of SEG applications recently, and renewals “remains steady”.

The rate of SEG tariffs vary significantly from supplier to supplier, with rates ranging from Social Energy’s 5.6p/kWh to Shell Energy’s 0.001p/kWh – which was later upgraded to 3.5p/kWh –  when the SEG first came into effect on 1 January 2020. E.ON offers two seperate rates – an enhanced rate of 5.5p/kWh for those who have had solar fitted by E.ON and a standard rate of 3.0p/kWh.

While E.ON was unable to provide specific customer numbers to Solar Power Portal, a spokesperson said that a significant proportion of its customers on the SEG tariff receive the enhanced rate of 5.5p/kWh.

It comes as the supplier transitions to E.ON Next – having finished transferring 2 million former npower customers in May – with the spokesperson stating that further development of specialist and personalised tariffs “sits at the heart of what E.ON Next is about and we’d expect the SEG to continue to be part of that going forwards”.

Lastly, Shell told Solar Power Portal that while it offers its standard SEG tariff of 3.5p/kWh, it offers a second tariff – its Solar Storage tariff – which is “where we see the future of such tariffs heading”.

“This is aimed at customers who have solar and a home battery and allows them to simply ‘store’ excess power generated in the summer which we’ll release in the winter months,” the spokesperson said.

While Solar Power Portal contacted OVO for information on its SEG tariff, the supplier said it had no updates at this time.

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