Producing your own renewable energy goes beyond achieving energy independence and reducing electricity bills. It might surprise you to discover that with the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) program, you have the opportunity to earn money by selling excess electricity generated by your solar PV system to the grid.

But the question is, how much can you get, what are the best SEG tariffs, and how does it work? and What are the best SEG rates?

If you are planning to sell excess electricity back to the national grid, this guide will help you understand everything you need to know about it.

You may still have been deprived of the benefits of solar energy, but no worries, MAK Energy is always here to assist and spread awareness of the benefits of renewable energy. We help customers transition to an environmentally friendly and more cost-effective source of electricity. Contact MAK Energy for any information related to solar energy; we would love to assist you in making the transition to energy that not only saves you money but also protects the environment.

key Notes

✔ You are entitled to compensation from major energy providers for surplus renewable energy you generate.

✔ Presently, the most favorable rate under the Smart Export Guarantee is 29.3 pence per kWh.

✔ On average, households can expect to earn around £159 annually through this program.

What is the Smart Export Guarantee?

The Smart Export Guarantee is a government-backed initiative that allows renewable energy generators to sell any excess electricity back to national grid and get paid for it. This program has been in the market since 2010 under the name Feed-in Tariff, which has now been replaced with SEG. The idea behind introducing the SEG tariff in the UK is to encourage people to switch to renewable energy and go green.

The amount you receive for exported energy depends on the supplier’s rate, as each energy supplier has its own SEG rates for exported electricity. We will explore most of the available best SEG tariffs in the UK.

One important thing to keep in mind is that the rate you pay for electricity usage will not match the rate you receive for exporting excess electricity back to the grid through the Smart Export Guarantee program.

smart export guarantee working

Best SEG Tariffs From Different Energy Suppliers

Energy SupplierNeed to be a customerPrice (p/kWh)Name of Tariff
OctopusYes24pOctopus Flux
OctopusYes15pOutgoing Fixed
OVO (With Battery)Yes20pOvo SEG Tariff
OVOYes15pOvo SEG Tariff
Scottish PowerYes15pSmartGen+
OctopusYes15pOutgoing Fixed
Scottish PowerNo12pSmartGen
British GasNo6.4pExport & Earn Flex
EDFYes5.6pExport Variable Value
E.ONYes5.5pNext Export Exclusive
OctopusNo4.1pOutgoing Go
Shell EnergyYes3.5pSeg V1.1 Tariff
Utility WarehouseNo2pUW Smart Export Guarantee – Standard
ENo1pE Seg January2020v.1

SEG Tariff Companies in UK  

Octopus Energy

Octopus Energy offers different types of Smart Export Energy rates to its customers: fixed and flexible or agile. The fixed rate is 15p per kWh, while the flexible tariff is measured on a half-hourly rate and based on day-ahead wholesale SEG rates. You may be curious to know which one is best suited for you: fixed or agile.

Well, the fixed Smart Export Guarantee rates will give you a fixed rate regardless of any changes that may occur during the fixed term. On the other hand, the agile tariff allows you to sell your excess generated electricity at a time that is most valuable to you.

What Is Required to Receive the Tariff?

  • You must have an active supply and export account with Octopus. Customers with export-only accounts will receive 4.1p per kWh for their exported electricity.
  • A SMETS2 smart meter (or SecureTM SMETS1) must be installed, and it should be capable of sending half-hourly export meter readings.
  • You should not be receiving deemed export payments from a feed-in tariff (FIT).
  • Any installed solar PV systems must hold MCS/Flexi-Orb certification.
Octopus Energy Tariffs 
Fixed
Tariff TypeCurrently Fixed
Tariff Rate15p (per kWh)
Includes Battery StorageYes
MCS/Flexi-Orb CertifiedYes
Payment CycleMonthly
Exit FeeNo
Tariff Length12 Month Fixed Term
Agile
Tariff TypeHalf Hourly Prices
Tariff RateAnywhere from 0 to 29p per kWh
Includes Battery StorageYes
MCS/Flexi-Orb CertifiedYes
Payment CycleMonthly
Exit FeeNo
Tariff LengthNo Fixed End Date

Scottish Power

Scottish Power offers two types of SEG tariffs to their customers, each with different Smart Export Guarantee rates: SmartGen and SmartGen+. Customers are compensated based on the units they export to the Scottish Power company. The SmartGen+ tariff provides a rate of 15p per kWh, while the SmartGen tariff offers a rate of approximately 12p per kWh.

What Is Required to Receive the Tariff?

  • A Smart or AMR meter capable of obtaining half-hourly readings must be in place, and you must grant consent to Scottish Power for accessing these readings.
  • Your export meter should be assigned an Export Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN).
  • You should not be receiving deemed export payments through a feed-in tariff (FiT).
  • Solar PV systems that have been installed must possess MCS/Flexi-Orb certification.
  • Your generation unit should have a capacity of up to 5MW, or up to 50kW for Micro-CHP systems.
Scottish Power SEG Tariffs  
SmartGen
Tariff TypeVariable
Tariff Rate12p (per kWh)
Includes Battery StorageYes
Payment Cycle6 Months
Exit FeeNo
Tariff LengthNo Fixed End Date
SmartGen+
Tariff TypeVariable
Tariff Rate15p (per kWh)
Includes Battery StorageYes
Payment Cycle6 Months
Exit FeeNo
Tariff LengthNo Fixed End Date
MCS/Flexi-Orb CertifiedYes

OVO Energy

The fix Smart Export Guarantee rates of exporting electricity back to the OVO energy is 4p /kwh regardless of your energy supplier association. But under their OVO best SEG tariff umbrella the Smart Export Guarantee rates go up to 20p if you have installed battery with your system and for on grid system the SEG rate is 15p.

The agreement will function by utilizing anticipated manual quarterly readings that you send to the supplier using OVO Energy’s convenient online form. Alternatively, if you have an ‘approved’ smart meter, you can opt for automated remote readings.             

What Is Required to Receive the Tariff?

  • Installation of a smart meter (either SMETS1 or SMETS2) is required, capable of transmitting half-hourly export meter readings.
  • Your export meter must be equipped with an Export Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN).
  • You must not be receiving any public grants that could disqualify you from participating in SEG.
  • Solar PV systems that are installed need to possess MCS/Flexi-Orb certification.
  • Your generation unit’s capacity can be up to 5MW, or up to 50kW for micro-combined heat and power (Micro-CHP).
  • You should not be receiving deemed export payments from a feed-in tariff (FIT).
OVO Energy SEG Tariff  
OVO SEG Tariff
Tariff TypeCurrently fixed
Tariff Rate15p – 20p(per kWh)
Includes Battery StorageYes
Payment Cycle3 Months
Exit FeeYes (unless during 14 day cooling period)
Tariff Length12 Month Fixed Term
MCS/Flexi-Orb CertifiedYes

Shell Energy

Shall Energy offers a slightly lower rate to its customers for feeding back the electricity generated by their solar panels. They provide their customers with a rate of 3.5p per kWh of energy exported back to the grid. To qualify for the SEG tariff, the property you own must be equipped with an export register and a SMETS compliant meter. Additionally, it is mandatory to have an MCS certificate for your property and complete a registration form.

What Is Required to Receive the Tariff?

  • You should not receive deemed export payments from a feed-in tariff (FIT)
  • Solar PV systems that are installed must hold MCS/Flexi-Orb certification
  • Your export meter should be assigned an Export Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN)
  • You are required to have a SMETS smart meter installed
Shell Energy SEG Tariff
Shall Energy SEG V1.1 Tariff
Tariff TypeVariable
Tariff Rate3.5p (per kWh)
Includes Battery StorageYes
Payment Cycle12 Months
Exit FeeYes (unless during 14-day cooling period)
Tariff LengthNo Fixed End Date
MCS/Flexi-Orb CertifiedYes

British Gas

Under the Export and Flex tariff by British Gas, solar panel owners can receive 6.4p per kWh for exporting to the grid. After successfully contracting with the company, customers need to provide the initial export meter reading, which will later be automatically recorded quarterly.

British Gas makes payments every three months, so customers will receive payments four times a year.

British Gas also offers the SEG export tariff, allowing customers to switch to a new export tariff without exit fees or fixed end dates. You don’t need to purchase electricity from British Gas to use this tariff; you can choose any energy supplier.

What Is Required to Receive the Tariff?

  • You need to have a smart meter or a meter capable of obtaining half-hourly readings
  • Your export meter should be assigned an Export Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN)
  • You must not be receiving deemed export payments through a Feed-In Tariff (FIT)
  • Solar PV systems that are installed must hold MCS/Flexi-Orb certification
  • Your generation unit should have a capacity of up to 5MW, or for micro-combined heat and power (micro-CHP) systems, a capacity of up to 50kW
British Gas SEG Tariff
Export and Earn Flex
Tariff TypeVariable
Tariff Rate6.4p (per kWh)
Includes Battery StorageYes
Payment Cycle3 Months
Exit FeeNo
Tariff LengthNo Fixed End Date
MCS/Flexi-Orb CertifiedYes

What’s The Best Smart Export Guarantee Rate?

Among all the companies offering the best SEG Tariff rates, Octopus stands out as it offers you up to 24p per kWh when exporting electricity back to the grid. Even if you aren’t an Octopus customer, you still have the opportunity to export your excess electricity back to Octopus at a reasonable rate of 4.1p per kWh, which is still higher than some other energy companies.

However, the best rate available to both customers and non-customers of solar panel homeowners is offered by Scottish Power at a rate of 12p per kWh, known as the SmartGen Tariff.

When inquiring about the lower rate for non-customers from Octopus, they explained that providing the same rate to customers of other suppliers isn’t feasible due to the significant effort and cost involved in setting up an export tariff.

How Much Money Can You Earn from The Smart Export Guarantee?  

The money that an average solar panel owner can earn with the SEG Tariff in the UK is £160, assuming they have a three-bedroom house and a 3.5kW solar system.

However, every house is different, so the amount one can save varies. In this table, you will gain a generic understanding of how different houses with various sizes of Solar PV systems can earn from SEG Tariff rates.

SEG Annual Income Based on Solar Panel and House Size

System SizeHouse SizeNo of PanelsTotal Estimated Annual Savings with SEG Profit
3kW1-2 bedrooms6-8£550-£570
4KW2-3 bedrooms9-11£800-£825
5KW4 bedrooms11-13£850-£870
6KW5+ bedrooms14-16£1220-£1250
SEG Annual Income Based on Solar Panel and House Size

How is SEG income Paid to You?  

If you are associated with the same company that is also your supplier, in that case, you may receive a deduction in your monthly energy bills. In other cases, you will be paid through a bank transfer. The transaction depends on the rules and regulations of each energy supplier and how often they transfer your money for exporting energy back to the grid.

For instance, Scottish Energy transfers monthly, OVO every three months, while Shall Energy will pay you annually.

Is SEG Income Taxable?

If your solar array is situated on a residential property that you own or in close proximity to it, and you do not plan for your solar panels to generate a substantially larger amount of solar energy (typically defined as exceeding 20% of your home’s electricity consumption), then you might still be eligible for an exemption.

In such cases, you can categorize your Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) payments as both trading and miscellaneous income. As long as your combined income in this category remains below £1,000, you are not required to report it to HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs).

Is SEG tariffs Income Taxable?

How Do You Qualify and Sign Up For SEG? 

To qualify for the SEG Tariff in the UK, you must fall into one of the categories of energy generators listed below:

  • Solar Panels
  • Micro Combined heat and Power
  • Hydro
  • Wind Turbines
  • Anaerobic digestion

The other necessary things for SEG sign-up and qualification are as follows:

  • Your installation must have a maximum capacity of 5 MW. Without a combined heat and power installation, the upper limit does not exceed 50 kW.
  • You are required to provide your Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) certificate or an equivalent document.
  • Ownership of an export meter is mandatory. Additionally, you will need to provide your SEG company with your export MPAN. If you’re uncertain about where to find your export MPAN, don’t hesitate to inquire with your supplier.

Can You Choose any Supplier for the SEG? 

Yes! Homeowners owning solar panels can choose any energy supplier for the best SEG Tariff. You may receive minimal SEG rates, but you have the right to choose as you please. Some suppliers provide good SEG rates even to non-customers, such as Scottish British, Octopus, and E.ON. You can select the one that best suits your needs without any hurdles.

Do You Require a Smart Meter In Order To Receive SEG Payments?

It depends on the supplier’s requirements; some energy suppliers may ask you to install a smart meter before receiving the SEG tariff. In most cases, you might not be required to have a smart meter, but having one ensures accurate SEG tariff rates and eliminates the need for manual readings. There are some speculations that smart meters may become compulsory for SEG payments in the near future. Therefore, it is recommended to have one before applying for the SEG program. 

Summary

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) Tariff presents an excellent opportunity to earn income by exporting surplus electricity back to the grid. Numerous energy suppliers participate in this program, each offering best SEG tariffs. Among the notable options, Octopus and Scottish Energy stand out, providing best SEG Tariff rates for exported electricity.

To access the SEG program, you must meet specific requirements, including furnishing Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) documentation for your property and owning an export meter. These criteria ensure that you are properly equipped to participate in the program and receive fair compensation for your renewable energy contributions.

If you secure the best SEG Tariff rates from a supplier company, it offers a lucrative opportunity to both reduce your carbon footprint and earn money, with Octopus and Scottish Energy leading the way in offering favourable terms.