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Good Energy / Supporting small-scale renewable electricity generation

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Until 2010, there was a financial incentive to generate renewable electricity in the UK only you did it on a large scale. Many small renewable generators produced too little electricity to claim Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs), and even for those who were eligible, the effort required was often not justified by the financial return.

Good Energy is a UK electricity supplier that sells only renewable electricity to its customers. It set up the ‘Home Generation’ scheme to encourage more renewable generation at local level. The scheme made a payment to small-scale renewable energy generators for each kWh that they generated.

Total renewable energy generation in 2006 was 460 MWh.

This avoided the emission of about 250 tonnes of CO2.

Home Generation provides an incentive for small renewable generators to produce as much electricity as possible, and encourages increased takeup.

"It's not just the money. It means a lot to us to reduce carbon emissions."

Sian Liwickis, Home Generation customer

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The scheme

The Home Generation scheme paid a fixed amount for each kWh of renewable electricity, to households and small businesses generating up to 30 kW. The payment was based on an annual meter reading. By June 2006, scheme had 215 members (10% of UK small renewable generators at the time), with a total installed capacity of 565 kW. Most had photovoltaic systems, 42 had small wind turbines and two had micro-hydro schemes.

Update: what happened next?

Good Energy used the Ashden Award fund to hold six ‘small generator forums’ each with an existing Home Generator and installer, and also to produce four short films about Home Generators. In 2010, Good Energy started to provide FIT payments to small renewable generators under the national supplier scheme. By 2011 the number of Home Generators had increased to over 1,500.

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