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Shell boosts Smart Export Guarantee tariff following criticism

Energy supplier moves tariff from 0.001p per kWh to 3.5p per kWh, insisting first price was a ‘pilot’ tariff

Shell Energy has significantly bumped the price it will pay for solar energy produced by domestic customers, after attracting criticism from climate campaigners for initially having the lowest rates on the market.

Under the new Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) launched on Wednesday large suppliers must pay for energy provided to the grid by small scale producers, including people with rooftop solar panels.

When the SEG tariffs were first announced earlier this week, Shell was listed as paying 0.001p per kWh, the lowest of any energy provider. Greenpeace described Shell’s initial rate as a “tight-fisted offer”.

Shell Energy has today insisted the 0.001p offering was a “pilot tariff”, and has now upgraded the tariff to 3.5p per kWh, putting it on par with rival energy providers EDF and SSE. The highest tariff is paid by Social Energy at 5.6p per kWh.

A spokesman for Shell Energy insisted the tariff rise was always planned, but it appears to have been brought forward following the criticism – yesterday a spokesperson told industry website Solar Power Portal the tariff would be upgraded later this year.

Under the SEG, brought in on January 1after the government scrapped the Export Tariff in April 2019, electricity suppliers with more than 150,000 customers are required to offer at least one tariff for power exported to the grid.

Chief executive of the Solar Trade Association Chris Hewett gave SEG’s arrival a cautious welcome, noting that a “competitive export market seems to be emerging”. Four suppliers have even set rates higher than those under the previous Export Tariff, he noted.

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