Feed-in tariff payment problems
Article 4 of 5
Feed-in tariff payment problems
Find out how long your feed-in tariff payments could take to arrive and what to do if you have a problem with payments.
The feed-in tariff (FIT) was a government scheme which gave guaranteed payments to those generating their own electricity. It's now closed to new applicants, but hundreds of thousands of people are already signed up. If you're among them, you should be paid quarterly for the electricity you produce, according to Ofgem, unless your FIT contract or terms and conditions state otherwise.
However, owners of solar panels have got in touch with us to say they have had problems receiving payments. Keep reading to find out more.
Feed-in tariff payment times compared
Some suppliers can take up to 90 days to pay your FIT payments, but others say they will pay much faster. It’s worth comparing payment times, and terms and conditions before you choose a FIT supplier.
After receiving complaints about slow payments in 2012, we surveyed Which? members who have solar panels to find out more. We ran our survey again (2018), this time with more than 2,000 members with solar panels to find out if things have improved.
Almost one in five told us that they have had a problem getting their FIT paid. The most common complaint was that the payment was received later than expected.
However, the picture has improved since we asked solar panel owners the same questions six years ago. Then, more than a third told us they'd had a problem with payment.
Below, we reveal the energy companies that are most likely to be slow payers according to our survey and the maximum payment times the companies state in their contracts:
Feed-in tariff payments: what to watch out for
If you've signed up to receive FIT payments, read your contract carefully so you know when to expect payment. Check with your licensee (the energy company that pays your FIT) whether you'll be sent reminders to submit your meter reading.
You must submit meter readings to your FIT's licensee before it will make a payment – and some companies have specific periods in which you must submit them. If you miss the deadline, you may have to wait until the next meter reading period before you'll get paid.
How to complain
If you have a complaint about your FIT licensee – for example, about payment or delays in accreditation or installation – contact it directly. All companies should have a complaints process on their websites that you can refer to. Find out more in our guide to complaining about feed-in tariff payments.
If you haven't reached an agreement with your FIT licensee eight weeks after you made the complaint, or you're not happy with the company’s final response, you can refer it to the Energy Ombudsman.
Can I change the energy supplier that pays my feed-in tariff?
Yes, you can change the electricity supplier that pays your FIT. You don't have to use the same energy company for both your FIT and domestic electricity supply.
But if you do want to switch, check that any new energy company you're considering will agree to pay your FIT. Your current electricity supplier must pay your FIT (if it's a registered FIT licensee). If you switch energy company, your new supplier can choose to pay you, but it's not obliged to if you're already being paid by your current supplier.
FIT payments are the same regardless of the supplier that pays you.
Take a look at our full guide to switching the energy supplier that pays your feed-in tariff.
The biggest energy companies have to pay FIT. They are: British Gas, Co-operative Energy, EDF Energy, Eon, First Utility, Npower, Ovo, Scottish Power, SSE, Utilita and Utility Warehouse.
Some smaller suppliers also choose to pay the FIT. These include: Bristol Energy, Bulb Energy, Ecotricity, Flow Energy, Good Energy, Green Energy UK, Igloo Energy, iSupply Energy, Robin Hood Energy, Spark Energy and Tonik Energy.
Find out which are the best and worst energy companies, according to their customers.