New laws to guarantee payment for solar homes providing excess electricity

UK Homes and green businesses generating renewable and low-carbon electricity to be guaranteed money for power supplied to the grid.

New solar homes and businesses creating and exporting electricity to the grid will be guaranteed a payment from suppliers under new laws to be introduced by the government this week (Monday 10 June).

The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) will ensure small-scale electricity generators installing solar, wind or other forms of renewable generation with a capacity up to 5MW will be paid for each unit of electricity they sell to the grid – tracked by their smart meter.

Residential solar panels are now over 50% cheaper than in 2011. SEG will build on the previous government subsidy scheme, which drove the installations of 850,000 small-scale renewable projects, but without passing on the cost to consumers.

Encouraging suppliers to competitively bid for electricity will give households the best market price for their energy, while providing the local grid with more clean, green energy, as the UK bids to become a net zero emissions economy.

Energy and Clean Growth Minister Chris Skidmore, said:

The future of energy is local and the new smart export guarantee will ensure households that choose to become green energy generators will be guaranteed a payment for electricity supplied to the grid.

We want the energy market to innovate and it’s encouraging to see some suppliers already offering competitive export tariffs to reduce bills. We want more to follow suit, encouraging small-scale generation without adding to consumer bills, as we move towards a subsidy-free energy system and a net zero emissions economy.

SEG will place a legal obligation on energy suppliers with over 150,000 customers –covering more than 90% of the retail market – to introduce export tariffs by 1 January 2020. Some energy suppliers, including Octopus and Bulb, are already offering new smart tariffs, with some exceeding those offered under the previous subsidy scheme. At peak, solar has provided more than a quarter of the UK’s energy demands.

Chief Executive of Octopus Energy, Greg Jackson, said:

These smart export tariffs are game changing when it comes to harnessing the power of citizens to tackle climate change. They mean homes and businesses can be paid for producing clean electricity just like traditional generators, replacing old dirty power stations and pumping more renewable energy into the grid. This will help bring down prices for everyone as we use cheaper power generated locally by our neighbours.

The previous Feed-in Tariffs (FIT) scheme closed to new entrants from 31 March 2019, following consultations in 2015 and 2018, to reduce the costs to consumers as the price of installing solar panels came down.

SEG is designed to continue to grow the small-scale renewables export market by supporting local generation. Combined with existing technologies, like smart meters and battery storage, SEG will help bridge the gap to a smarter and more efficient energy system of the future.

The government is keen to support households and businesses in being able to store energy in batteries in their homes, which consumers will monitor on their smart meters, respond to price signals and choose the most economical times to charge their electric cars and sell their electricity back to the grid. In turn, this will help cut consumer bills, reduce the strain on energy networks, and give consumers more control of their energy use.

The new solar scheme comes as the government will unveil the winners of the latest round of the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund this week. One of the winners, Brill Power, has been awarded £686,000 in grant funding to explore further boosting the lifetime of lithium-ion battery packs for household energy storage and to bring down their cost for consumers.

Product Recall – Fluke T110, T130 and T150 Two-Pole Voltage Testers

Risk

Risk of electric shock due to false readings from product

Description

Fluke state that:

“It has been determined that certain Recalled Testers may experience premature failure of the interconnecting cable under cyclical bending stress. Recent experiments conducted by Fluke have shown a wide distribution in the number of cycles to failure exhibited by the Recalled Testers, meaning that certain Recalled Testers are subject to failure earlier than expected, leading to a useful life for certain of them that Fluke considers unacceptable.

Further, the cable may fail in an intermittent fashion where, depending on the cable flex orientation, it is possible for a Recalled Tester to pass a self check continuity test or validation on a known voltage source, while subsequent tests may display a false negative. The primary function of a T-Pole Tester is to detect the presence or absence of voltage to determine whether it is safe to touch an electrical installation and begin work.

A false negative may lead to electric shock or arc flash from subsequent user actions as a result of the false negative indication, which may lead to injury or even death. Because of this risk, please IMMEDIATELY STOP using your T-Pole Tester”

What To Do

If you believe that you possess an affected product stop using it immediately and check the below webpage for further details and recall information

Fluke Recall

Wiring Matters – Issue 74 March 2019

In the March 2019 issue they welcome back James Eade’s Mythbusting column, he will brief you on the developments of IEC 60364-8-2 and investigate the importance of working safely with storage.

Here is a quick look at what you can expect to find in this issue :-

Mythbusters #3 – All electrical appliances in the workplace should be tested annually

As myths go, this is a well-established one. A cursory glance at any item of electrical equipment in the workplace is very likely to reveal a green sticker indicating that the testing interval is annual, but should it be? As the IET Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment undergoes revision in preparation for a 5th Edition, James Eade delves into the archives to look at the rationale for testing and where such established practice comes from.

Working safely with storage: It’s not business as usual

Two near misses within the past 18 months have been a timely reminder of unique safety procedures for electrical energy storage systems –
Dr Andrew Crossland CEng and EUR ING Graham Kenyon CEng

Lecturing on the 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations in Cyprus

The publication of the 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations has created a surge in demand for local network events to provide updates and insight into the new and amended requirements. The IET Cyprus network requested a visit from a member of the IET Technical Regulations team to give lectures on the main technical changes and new requirements of the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations in Nicosia and Limassol and I was happy to volunteer to do them – By: Leon Markwell

Latest developments in International Standards for prosumers low-voltage electrical installations

In October 2018, a new standard, IEC 60364-8-2, was published. In this article, we give a brief overview of some of the latest requirements at international level, which may or may not be incorporated in BS 7671 in the future – By: Geoff Cronshaw

Crabtree: 1919 to 2019 and beyond

Electrical safety has always been at the heart of everything Crabtree does. It’s a philosophy that has seen the brand through periods of depression, a world war, and market uncertainty. It enables them to consistently deliver products and devices that installers can trust, and it all started with a ‘dolly’. (Sponsored)

Read the full issue here – https://electrical.theiet.org/wiring-matters/issues/74/

Fluke T5-1000 – Video Review

We wanted to share this with you, our friends over at SystemTek have done a great video review of the Fluke T5-1000. This is one of the most popular meters around, used by thousands of electricians worldwide.

Buy The Fluke T5-1000 Now !

HS2 could provide green energy to hundreds of new homes

In an innovative first, engineers developing the HS2 super-hub at Old Oak Common in north west London are proposing plans to tap heat from the brakes and engines of high speed trains to heat water and power central heating of up to 500 new homes that could be built nearby.

The scheme would see 5 air source heat pumps draw warm air from the railway’s tunnels, where the waste heat from trains is usually extracted by traditional ventilation systems and seeps into the ground surrounding the tunnels.

Instead HS2 Ltd’s plans would see waste heat fed into a local District Heating System. The new HS2 station at Old Oak Common is set to be the UK’s best connected rail interchange, with an estimated 250,000 people passing through every day. It will help kick-start the UK’s largest regeneration project, which aims to transform the former railway and industrial area, into a new neighbourhood supporting up to 65,000 jobs and 25,500 new homes*.

HS2 innovation manager, Pablo García, said:

HS2 is so much more than a railway. By taking a long term view of how the benefits of investing in the new high speed railway can be shared, we’re investigating how to provide sustainable, low-carbon heating and hot water to up to 500 new homes.

Near Old Oak Common we’re building a crossover box. This is an underground hall that houses a points junction to enable trains to arrive and depart from any of the station’s platforms.

Our plans would see warm air pushed into the crossover box by trains, in effect acting like pistons. It then rises to be harnessed by air source heat pumps, converted into hot water and transported to homes by insulated pipes.

Aerial view of Old Oak Common

Old Oak Common’s crossover box is capable of supporting waste heat recovery technology.

Based on current energy price forecasts, HS2 estimates that the investment in waste heat recycling system would pay for itself after just 4 years.

Compared to gas boilers being used in the homes, recycling heat generated by trains’ engines and brakes could reduce the carbon footprint of 500 houses by more than a fifth (22%).

Plans are at an early stage but the technology is proven. As the project progresses HS2 Ltd will work with local partners to make this aspiration a reality.

Pablo explained how Old Oak Common’s crossover box is the only place on HS2’s first section between London and the West Midlands capable of supporting waste heat recovery technology, but there may be further opportunities on the high speed network’s Leeds and Manchester routes.

Our study focused on possible Phase One opportunities because its designs are most advanced. Designs for the second phase of the railway are at an earlier stage, and we hope to look at whether waste heat recovery technology could be deployed there too.

Currently more than 1,000 people are at work on HS2 across London, clearing the way for the start of construction.

At Euston and the future HS2 terminus at Curzon Street in Birmingham demolitions are well underway alongside the project’s pioneering archaeology programme. Meanwhile clearance of the Washwood Heath site, the Birmingham location of the project’s future network control centre and rolling stock depot, is also in full swing.

In total more than 7,000 jobs are currently supported by the HS2 project, both directly and in the UK-wide supply chain.