Need 'D' rating for solar PV

You need an EPC ‘D’ rating to claim the top rate FIT for Solar PV

The feed-in tariff is a Government payment, paid to households who have installed solar panels. The payments are made for each unit of electricity produced by the solar PV system regardless of whether that electricity produced is then used in the house or sold back to the grid.

When people talk about solar PV ‘paying back’ in 7-8 years, it is almost always the feed-in tariff that makes this possible (along with the energy savings). The top rate feed-in tariff for solar PV is 14.38p for every unit (measured in kWh) of electricity produced, however in order to get this rate, you need to provide a copy of your EPC and it needs to be band ‘D’ or better.

If you don’t provide an EPC with at least a band ‘D’ rating for the property on which the solar panels sit then unfortunately the payment is just 6.38p / kWh. For a typical 4kW solar system this might reduce your yearly payment by as much as £300. Keep in mind this payment lasts for 20 years, you could be missing out on as much as £6,000.

For that reason alone, if you are considering solar PV on your home, you must try and achieve the ‘D’ EPC rating on your home – otherwise the payback of your system might be 12-14 years.

For the Hydro, wind and CHP Feed-in tariff – the EPC rating doesn’t matter

For the other electricity producing technologies like micro hydroelectric, wind power and CHP (combined heat and power), the EPC rating has no bearing on the feed-in tariff payment. It is important to remember though that for all electricity generating technologies, you need to make sure they are installed by MCS registered installers otherwise you won’t be able to claim the Feed-in tariff either.