A million household in the UK that have solar panels will see an increase in their energy bills under Ofgem’s plans to improve fairness in the way networks are funded.
The government regulator’s proposals aim to ensure fairness in the way in which the networks are paid for as technology transforms the way in which people use power.
Currently, households pay an average of £120 a year towards the maintenance of the grid, which is levied as part of the amount electricity suppliers charge for power used through the mains. Therefore, the more electricity used, the more a household will contribute towards servicing the network.
However, homes that generate their own power through solar panels, an estimated one million, pay less than average for network maintenance, but use the same amount of power as other users during the darker winter months, which Ofgem say is unfair.
The proposals, Ofgem hope to be in place by 2020-21, will make households pay a fixed charge for grid connection or one which is linked to a home’s maximum capacity drawn from the network during peak hours. As a result, households with solar panels will likely pay more toward grid costs than they do now and a small in bills for some others.
Ofgem’s senior partner, Andrew Wright, said: “We want to make sure that all users pay a fair share of the costs even if they are only using the networks when their on-site generation is not producing electricity.”