Smart Export Guarantee

Pylons behind houses, photo courtesy of Maxwell Hamilton

Set up by the UK government, the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) is a scheme that pays customers for any excess renewable electricity – in this case, solar PV – they export to the National Grid.

Who is the SEG for?

The SEG is for any small-scale generators – households or businesses – who have a solar PV system with a capacity up to 5MW.

However, to receive SEG payments, customers must sign up to a licensed electricity supplier’s (SEG Licensee) tariff. It’s worth signing up, if not, any unused electricity produced by the customer’s solar PV system is exported to the National Grid and the energy company resells the energy, raking in the entire profit.

Which SEG is best?

All companies with over 150,000 domestic electricity customers are required to offer a SEG tariff, whereas companies with fewer customers can choose whether they participate or opt-out. There are also some outsiders, such as Tesla, who offer their own very good tariffs (but with conditions that cancel out any financial benefit).

The SEG Licensee doesn’t have to be the same energy supplier who supplies electricity to the homeowner, so it pays to shop around for the best deal. Rates can vary greatly from supplier to supplier and there are different tariffs to consider as well, including fixed, flexible and multi-rate SEGs. Energy companies set the rate they pay, contract length and other terms. Sometimes wholesale electricity prices can fall below zero, however, the energy company must always pay a tariff above zero.

In December 2022, SEG tariff payments ranged from 1p/kWh to 5.6p/kWh, which, when measured over a year, can add up to quite a difference in the amount of money earnt. Octopus offers a top rate of 15p/kWh, although the customer must be with them for both supply and export.

As always, there are caveats. The solar PV system can’t be larger than 5MW and must have a meter that records, at regular intervals, energy exported to the grid. The installation must also be MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) certified (all CJ Solar’s solar PV installations are MCS certified).

For more information

How SEG payments work

Four Steps to Free Electricity

step 1


Our solar design team will discuss your project and organise a comprehensive solar system proposal.

step 1


We use an online tool to produce an accurate 3D visual design of the solar PV on your property.

step 1


Once you are happy with the proposal, our technical surveyor visits your property to finalise the layout.

step 1


We arrange everything needed for the installation. Once the system is thoroughly tested, you can start generating free electricity.