Export Tariff has been launched. — Bulb Community

Export Tariff has been launched.

edited March 16 in About Bulb
https://trello.com/c/lTp4oaph/91-launch-bulb-export-tariff-🌞

Following this blog post back in December, it seems Bub are taking things seriously, trying to get an export tariff up and running.

I don't have any personal generation but I know plenty of members do and may be thinking about it for the future.

Comments

  • It will be interesting to see what the export tariff looks like, and if it creates an incentive for energy storage or not.
  • Excitingly, we've announced that Bulb will now be buying the energy that you export.

    If you're a Bulb member that exports energy to the grid, has readable smart meters and are up for helping us through our 'alpha' phase of testing, you can sign up for export payments on our new web page.

    @mowcius @MorgenBlue
  • Nice one @Eleanor at Bulb B)

    Is it at a fixed rate, wholesale market rate, or ?
  • Also, no mention of been ineligible if you already get paid deemed export via FIT?
  • edited March 15
    phproxy said:

    Is it at a fixed rate, wholesale market rate, or ?

    +1

    I understand it's early days but it concerns me that there aren't any rates anywhere.
  • edited March 15
    phproxy said:

    Nice one @Eleanor at Bulb B)

    Is it at a fixed rate, wholesale market rate, or ?

    We’ll pay members the wholesale cost of energy for every kWh of electricity you export.

    Members will be eligible for the trial if they have smart meters we can read export data from. At the moment we know we can read daily export data from some smart meters. We will need a member's consent to try and read half hourly export data from their meter on the trial.
    phproxy said:

    Also, no mention of been ineligible if you already get paid deemed export via FIT?

    There's a bit of a complicated answer to that question. In short, if you currently receive FIT payments, you can join the alpha. We've written a help centre article that explains how and why. Of course, let us know if we've missed anything out!
  • mowcius said:



    I understand it's early days but it concerns me that there aren't any rates anywhere.

    At the moment, we plan to use Half Hour Day Ahead Auction prices to calculate payments during the trial. This is in line with how we currently pay our large generators we have PPA contracts with. We have also decided that negative pricing in the wholesale market should not impact our members during this trial, so have set a price floor of £0.

    This is the approach we have set out to use, but the methodology is not set in stone. It may change over the course of the trial based on what we learn and the feedback we receive from our members.
  • edited March 15

    At the moment, we plan to use Half Hour Day Ahead Auction prices to calculate payments during the trial. This is in line with how we currently pay our large generators we have PPA contracts with. We have also decided that negative pricing in the wholesale market should not impact our members during this trial, so have set a price floor of £0.

    This is the approach we have set out to use, but the methodology is not set in stone. It may change over the course of the trial based on what we learn and the feedback we receive from our members.

    So, in layman's terms, what does this actually mean for customers?
  • mowcius said:



    I understand it's early days but it concerns me that there aren't any rates anywhere.

    At the moment, we plan to use Half Hour Day Ahead Auction prices to calculate payments during the trial. This is in line with how we currently pay our large generators we have PPA contracts with. We have also decided that negative pricing in the wholesale market should not impact our members during this trial, so have set a price floor of £0.

    This is the approach we have set out to use, but the methodology is not set in stone. It may change over the course of the trial based on what we learn and the feedback we receive from our members.
    I think this essentially means the price will generally be somewhere between 3p - 5p per kWh exported, which is lower than the old assumed export tariff. While I can understand Bulb choosing that method for economic value, I doubt it's enough to incentivize anyone to buy solar panels after the end of the month. You will need some sort of energy storage for solar to make sense, which will nullify the export tariff for the most part.

    Residential installations simply aren't at a scale that allows them to be viable when playing by the same rules as large scale commercial deployments.

    I also wouldn't be able to join the trial anyway, even though I still have my FIT with Bulb. I completed my switch away from Bulb supplying my energy today due to Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino's misleading comments on EVs, and Bulb's refusal to correct it.
  • edited March 15
    @MorgenBlue, it is a fair way to go about things though. Why should someone in their house get a better rate than a large scale producer?

    They're putting electricity on the grid in a similar manner.

    Residential installations simply aren't at a scale that allows them to be viable when playing by the same rules as large scale commercial deployments.

    That is true, but they're also a lot less efficient (in terms of resource consumption) than generation at scale. Aside from land use (as panels can be stuck on existing rooves), it makes far more sense to install at the MW scale than at the kW scale. I'd rather see government money being spent on large rather than micro scale projects.
  • edited March 15
    mowcius said:

    @MorgenBlue, it is a fair way to go about things though. Why should someone in their house get a better rate than a large scale producer?

    They're putting electricity on the grid in a similar manner.

    Residential installations simply aren't at a scale that allows them to be viable when playing by the same rules as large scale commercial deployments.

    That is true, but they're also a lot less efficient (in terms of resource consumption) than generation at scale. Aside from land use (as panels can be stuck on existing rooves), it makes far more sense to install at the MW scale than at the kW scale. I'd rather see government money being spent on large rather than micro scale projects.
    The energy market for large scale generators works completely differently, and businesses pay for energy in a different way along with other things like not paying VAT. Large scale generators (renewable or otherwise) get Contracts for Difference from the government as well. Hinkley Point C for example will be getting paid twice as much (or more) for the same amount of energy as what's on offer here, and have a guaranteed minimum as such while Bulb aren't guaranteeing anything above 0.

    Also something to be said for local generation, which will reduce transmission losses.
  • Large scale generators (renewable or otherwise) get Contracts for Difference from the government as well. Hinkley Point C for example will be getting paid twice as much (or more) for the same amount of energy as what's on offer here, and have a guaranteed minimum as such while Bulb aren't guaranteeing anything above 0.

    Some do, true, but a lot of generators do not, including most renewable generators (as I understand it). Those guaranteed rates will almost certainly also vanish entirely when Hinkley Point finally gets online and everyone realises what a royal screw up it was. They made sense in the past, but they don't any more.
    Also something to be said for local generation, which will reduce transmission losses.
    Local yes, micro less so. The losses from a few thousand micro generation sites are going to be rather worse than distribution losses on the grid (around 8%).
  • edited March 16
    You can't revoke a CfD after the fact, they are legally binding. The vast majority of new low carbon power generation greater than 300MW will utilize the CfD scheme.
  • edited March 17
    Not to say I don't think Bulb's efforts here are good, I just think it's a bit pointless without other government support.

    Grants for energy storage would be the best thing for residential solar.
  • Grants for energy storage would be the best thing for residential solar.

    But investing that money into larger scale battery storage would be better for everyone rather than a small subset of the population.
  • edited March 18
    mowcius said:

    But investing that money into larger scale battery storage would be better for everyone rather than a small subset of the population.

    Agreed. I've always had doubts about grants/incentives that are only accessible by people that are already relatively wealthy. Why would we want to give grants for energy storage to people that can already afford large enough houses with room for the batteries and afford large solar installations?

    Edit to add: That of course doesn't mean I turn them down. I've recently made use of grants for EVs and discounted installation of charge points. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em ...
  • Reducing VAT to 5% on retrofit home batteries would be a start.
  • mowcius said:

    Grants for energy storage would be the best thing for residential solar.

    But investing that money into larger scale battery storage would be better for everyone rather than a small subset of the population.
    You don't have the full costs of the government going through the tender process and fully paying for the whole thing if they put out grants. The capital cost is shared between the homeowner, and the government which could allow it to go further. Part of that deal could also be to use them all together as a virtual power plant, such as Australia are doing for low income houses.

    Even if they don't do anything like that, it's reducing the load on the grid at peak times in the evenings. That will reduce demand for coal power plants to run for those few hours, and reduce costs of energy during that period for everyone.
    Also something to be said for local generation, which will reduce transmission losses.
    Local yes, micro less so. The losses from a few thousand micro generation sites are going to be rather worse than distribution losses on the grid (around 8%).
    I want to see your workings on this one. A large number of rooftop solar projects doesn't suffer from significantly increased transmission / inverter losses over a large deployment. Deploying storage and solar locally can also defer capacity upgrades required for local infrastructure, saving everyone money.
  • Other energy providers have launched export tariffs now with the rate being fixed at 5 to 5.5p.
  • Other energy providers have launched export tariffs now with the rate being fixed at 5 to 5.5p.

    That's about what I expected to be honest. I don't think it's great, but it seems realistic.
  • mowcius said:

    Other energy providers have launched export tariffs now with the rate being fixed at 5 to 5.5p.

    That's about what I expected to be honest. I don't think it's great, but it seems realistic.
    It's okay because it's fixed.
  • edited April 15
    @Eleanor at Bulb - Slightly different interpretations of the FIT regs?

    From Bulb's FAQ:
    "The guidance for the Feed-in Tariff scheme states that households receiving FIT payments cannot sell the energy they export to another entity. Members on our alpha trial are being paid for exporting kilowatt hours of energy, but we’re not actually buying the energy itself."

    From a competitor's FAQ (removed the name) who is 'buying the energy':

    "Under FiT guidelines, you get paid for being a generator, and paid for whatever you export.

    You won’t be able to receive FiT export payments whilst also being on the (new export) tariff. However, you will still be able to receive your generation payments. When you sign up to the (export tariff) you will be required to opt out of your deemed export payments from your existing FiT supplier (but there’s no requirement to switch your FiT contract to (removed))"
  • Thanks @phproxy

    I've just fired an email over to the FIT team who will be able to help with this one. I'll update this thread when I hear back.
  • Hi

    We are still waiting for our feed-in tariff `stuff' to be sorted out, it's been about six weeks elapsed so far. However, the real point of the post is to ask about batteries and how they fit into both Bulb Feed-in and Export tariffs? We are expecting a battery to be installed sometime in May. We have been approached by Good Energy (under the Project Solar umbrella), however, if we can keep things all together with Bulb that would be useful.

    Any tips or pointers to a link would be appreciated :-)

  • Hi @GGRFALS,

    I've emailed you about your application, once you correct that issue mentioned in the email we can register you for payments.

    In terms of batteries I think their potential for use in the export trial is really interesting. As we will be using Half Hour Day Ahead Auction prices to calculate payments during the trial it's easily conceivable of how you could use a battery to store power from your solar installation and put it on the grid at the most valuable times. You can have FIT with a battery as well as long as it meets Ofgem's requirements.
  • @phproxy Great question - we don't have to exclude alpha participants from export payments because we're not technically buying their export payments we're just paying them for exporting it. In the near future we hope to be able to use export data from smart meters for settlement, but right now the mechanism to do that doesn't exist.
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