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REWS – Feed-In Tariff – Faq

REWS (Regulator for Energy & Water Services)

Feed-In Tariff – Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Feed‐in Tariff?

A feed-in tariff is a tariff which is paid to a producer of electricity for the amount of electricity generated and exported to the electricity grid.

The feed-in tariffs for electricity produced by solar photovoltaic systems (PV systems) were introduced for the first time on the 10th September 2010. Prior to this date, PV systems were being connected and electricity sent to the grid was compensated through a net metering arrangement. This latter arrangement is no longer an option for any PV system approved after the 10th September 2010 of July, 2010, Government announced a feed‐in tariff scheme for electricity produced through photovoltaic systems. Since their first introduction in September 2010 various feed-in tariff schemes were introduced through amendments to the Feed-in tariff Regulations.

You can find more information on the history of feed-in tariffs since September 2010 through: FIT Schemes Table update 31-1-2018

2. Are there any feed-in tariffs schemes currently available?

Yes. Until 30th June 2016 and subject to availability, the following feed-in tariffs are applicable:
a.A feed-in tariff consisting in 16.5c for every kWh of electricity generated and exported to the grid by a PV system installed on residential premises, which system benefitted from any form of grant or subsidy of not exceeding 50% on the initial investment cost. This feed-in tariff is payable for 6 years.
b.A feed-in tariff consisting in 15.5c for every kWh of electricity generated and exported to the grid by a PV system which system did not benefit from any form of grant or subsidy and having an installed capacity of more than 1kWp but less than 40kWp. This feed-in tariff is payable for 20 years.
c.A feed-in tariff consisting in 15c for every kWh for electricity generated and exported to the grid by PV systems that do not benefit from any form of grant or subsidy and having an installed capacity larger than 40kWp and less than 1000kWp. This feed-in tariff is payable for 20 years.

3. What will be my feed-in tariff if the grant on the initial investment of a PV system to be installed on a residential premises is more than 50%?

If the grant exceeds 50%, the applicable feed-in tariff is equivalent to the feed-in tariff for a PV system installed on a residential premises with a reduction of 0.2c for every 1% grant received over above the 50%. If this calculation results in a feed-in tariff rate that is lower than the prevailing marginal cost of electricity then the feed-in tariff would be equivalent to the marginal cost of electricity.

Example: If you benefit from a grant of 70% and you are approved a feed-in tariff by 30th June 2016, your feed-in tariff would be:

16.5c – 0.2x(70-50) = 12.5c per kWh

4. Is there any limit on the total capacity that may be approved a feed-in tariff?

Yes. The total overall capacity of individual PV systems which may benefit from any of the feed-in tariffs indicated in 2(b) or 2(c) is capped as follows:

The total overall capacity of individual PV systems that may be approved the feed-in tariff in 2b is capped at 4MWp.

In the case of the feed-in tariff in 2 (c) there are two different caps on the overall capacity of individual PV systems as follows:
i.For any installation excluding structure integrated PV systems, the total overall cap is 6MWp.
ii.For structure integrated PV systems the total overall cap is 4MWp.

Capacity from the cap in (ii) remaining unallocated after the 30th June 2016 may be used to satisfy PV capacity submitted by 30th June 2016 for approval in (i) in excess of the 6MWp on a first come first served basis.

5. Where and when should I apply for a feed-in tariff?

You are required to apply for the feed-in tariff and obtain confirmation of the allocation of the feed-in tariff from the Regulator for Energy and Water Services before making any commitment on the purchase or transfer of ownership of the PV system.

The application for a Feed-in tariff should be submitted to the Regulator for Energy and Water Services.

You can find more information by visiting the Regulator’s website under the heading “Applications and Guidance Documents in connection with Feed-in Tariffs

6. Can I export any amount of kWh I want at the feed‐in tariff?

No. The feed-in tariff is paid for electricity exported subject to a limit as established by the feed-in tariff scheme as follows:

(i). In the case of a PV system which installation was approved a feed-in tariff by the Malta Resources Authority before 31st December 2012 the following caps on the electricity exported and reimbursed by the applicable feed-in tariff apply:

a) In the case of PV installed on residential or domestic premises, the amount of electricity exported annually to the electricity grid and reimbursed by the applicable feed-in tariff is capped to the amount equivalent to kWp of the installation multiplied by 1600 but not exceeding 4800kWh/annum; and

b) In the case of PV installed on premises for commercial use, the amount of electricity exported annually to the electricity grid and reimbursed by the applicable feed-in tariff is capped to the amount equivalent to the kWp installed and multiplied by 1600 but not exceeding 160,000kWh /annum.

(ii). In the case of a PV system which installation was approved by the Malta Resources Authority or the Regulator for Energy and Water Services after 1st January 2013, the amount of electricity exported annually to the electricity grid and reimbursed by the applicable feed-in tariff is capped to the amount equivalent to the kWp of the installation multiplied by 1600.

7. What happens if I export to the grid more than the limit allowed for my PV system?

Any electricity units exported above the limit allowed will be reimbursed Enemalta plc’s marginal cost of electricity and as applicable at the particular year in which such units were exported. The marginal cost of electricity is generally announced on an annual basis.

8. Can I sell all the electricity produced by my PV system?

Yes. You may opt to sell all the electricity generated by your PV system to Enemalta plc, and you will be paid the feed-in tariff according to the terms and conditions of the feed-in tariff scheme approved for such purposes. On the other hand, any units which you consume will be charged at the applicable electricity tariffs for the supply of electricity by Enemalta plc.

This option is better known as: “Sell all the electricity produced by the PV system” or “Full Export”

9. Can I consume the electricity produced by my PV system instead of exporting that electricity to the grid?

Yes. You may opt to consume the electricity generated by your PV at the time it is produced. Any units that are not consumed instantaneously will be exported to the grid and will be paid at the feed in tariffs and according to the terms and conditions of the feed-in tariff scheme approved for such purposes.

On the other hand, any units which are imported from Enemalta plc for your consumption will be charged at the applicable electricity tariffs for the supply of electricity by Enemalta plc.

This option is better known as “Sell only the electricity which is produced and not consumed i.e. export the electricity produced in excess of consumption” or “Partial Export”

Note: This option is not applicable for third party PV installations i.e. PV installations installed on a site where the PV owner is not a consumer. In such cases the owner of the PV installation has no other option but to sell all electricity generated by the installation and exported to the electricity grid to Enemalta plc.

10. When am I required to choose my preferred option regarding the sale of electricity generated by my PV system and exported to the grid and would it be possible to change the selected option?

The owner of the PV system is required to indicate his preferred option in the application form submitted to the Regulator for Energy and Water Services. It is possible to change this option selected, where applicable, by submitting a ‘PV Change Request’ form to the Regulator for Energy and Water Services followed by an application to ARMS Ltd both during the years in which the feed-in tariff is applicable and/or after the expiry of this period.

However in the following cases, an owner of a PV installation has no option for changing the method of reimbursement of electricity generated and exported to the grid:

a) a third party installation (i.e. the owner of the PV is not the registered consumer with ARMS Ltd. at the premises where such installation is installed; OR

b) where Enemalta plc has specifically agreed with the PV owner during the evaluation of the proposal for the issue of the “No Objection” letter on which option is applicable;

c) where on site there is more than one PV system installed and each connected with a different feed-in tariff and its own dedicated meter, the option for changing the method of reimbursement would be possible only for a PV system installed on a account intended for the consumption electricity from the grid.

11. I have a smart meter installed. Is there still a need for the ‘PV meter’ to be installed?

Yes, another meter has to be installed. Normally the connection of a PV system to the grid requires a “PV meter” and an import/export meter both provided by Enemalta plc.

The “PV meter” measures all the electricity produced by the PV system and if you opt to sell all the electricity produced by your PV the payment will be based on the readings of the PV meter.

12. What is an import/export meter?

An import/export meter is an electricity meter that can measure:
a.the surplus electricity generated by your PV that is not consumed in your premises and is exported to the grid, i.e. the “EXPORT”; on your bill and normally displayed as “Export info” by the smart meter.
b.the amount of electricity that is imported from the grid, which is supplied by Enemalta plc i.e. the “IMPORT” on your bill and normally displayed as “Consumption” by the smart meter.

13. How will the feed‐in tariff be paid?

For a PV system with a capacity less than 100kWp, Enemalta plc may deduct the amount due to you for the electricity generated by your PV installation and exported to the grid from the amount due to Enemalta plc for the supply of electricity.

In the case where the amount due to you from the electricity exported by the PV system exceeds the invoiced amount for the consumption of electricity for a particular billing period, such amount will be carried forward in the form of a credit note. When two consecutive scheduled bills based on actual meter readings are shown to be in credit Enemalta plc is obliged to pay you the credit within sixty days of the date of the second scheduled bill. Please refer to ARMS Ltd to make the necessary arrangements to enable the credit of such amounts directly to your bank account.

14. How will the feed-in tariff be paid for PV system of a capacity exceeding 100kW

If your PV system has a capacity of 100kWp and no set off arrangement as explained in FAQ 13 is in place, Enemalta plc is obliged pay you the credit due after deducting any amounts owed by you to Enemalta plc, within sixty days from a scheduled meter reading.

15. Do I have to pay VAT and income tax on the money received from Enemalta plc for the units generated by my PV system?

The feed‐in tariff payable to households is income‐tax and VAT exempt. Revenue and expenses relating to PV systems installed on premises used for commercial purposes shall be considered as part of normal business of the company/entity concerned.

16. How is the payment of the feed-in tariff calculated?

For both “Sell all the electricity produced by the PV system” and “Sell only the electricity which is produced and not consumed”, the metering configuration is normally as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Note that a kWh is a unit of electricity as measured by the meter.

PV meter G measures all the units produced by the system; in this example G =1837kWh

The consumption meter at point I/E measures the flow of electricity into the building (denoted by I for Import) and the flow of electricity out from the building to the network (denoted by E for export).

The readings used to calculate what is due to the consumer for the electricity sold to Enemalta plc and the amount due by the consumer for the electricity purchased from Enemalta plc depends on the feed-in tariff option described earlier and chosen by the consumer.

Full export: Sell all the electricity produced by the PV systems

Enemalta plc pays for the electricity generated by the PV panel (as measured at point G) on condition that this does not exceed the cap for the payment of the feed-in tariff, while the consumer has to pay for all the electricity consumption.

The consumption is effectively what would be measured at point C if a meter is installed there. However in order to avoid having to connect three meters for PV systems, the consumption at point C is calculated:

C = I plus G minus E.

In the example of Figure 1: Electricity generated and paid to consumer at feed-in Tariff = 1837kWh

The building has actually consumed 6748kWh + 1837kWh – 552kWh = 8033kWh and consumer pays this consumption to ARMS Ltd at the applicable consumption tariff rates.

This is a standard electrical relationship.

Partial Export: Sell only the electricity which is produced and not consumed i.e. is the electricity produced in excess of consumption

Enemalta plc pays the consumer for the electricity exported from the PV (as measured at point E) on condition that this does not exceeding the cap for the payment of the feed-in tariff and the consumer pays Enemalta plc for the electricity imported from the grid (as measured at point I)

In the example of Figure 1: Electricity generated and paid to consumer at feed-in Tariff = 552kWh

The building has actually consumed 6748kWh + 1837kWh – 552kWh = 8033kWh but consumer pays only 6748kWh consumption to ARMS Ltd at the applicable consumption tariff rates.

17. Can the Feed‐in Tariff change?

No. If your PV is approved in a feed in tariff scheme, the feed-in tariff and the guarantee period for the payment of that feed-in tariff remain fixed and as established by the feed-in tariff Regulations for the particular scheme.

(Note A new FIT scheme may be launched at any point but such scheme would then only be applicable for those installations approved in that particular feed-in tariff scheme.

18. Can I choose between net‐metering and the feed‐in tariff?

The net‐metering enjoyed by owners of PV’s already connected to the grid before September 2010 is no longer offered as an option. Only those already benefiting from this arrangement can continue with the agreement they have regarding net‐metering.

19. I already have a PV system connected to the network with the net metering arrangement. How can I switch over to the feed‐in tariff scheme?

With effect from August 2015 it is not possible to switch from net metering to a feed-in tariff.

20. If I want to remain on the net metering arrangement do I need to do anything?

No.

21. I want to remain on the net metering arrangement but I want to increase the size of the PV, can I do it?

No, you may only remain on the net metering arrangement for the size of PV at the time of connection to the network (that is when Enemalta installed the PV meter and the import/export meters).

22. I have a PV system on net‐metering arrangement. Can I install a PV system with a feed‐in tariff?

Yes. However the new PV system has to be connected to the grid through its own separate meter and the only arrangement possible in this case is the “Full export: Sell all the electricity produced by the PV systems”. The application procedure for a feed-in tariff indicated in reply to Question 5 above applies in the event you opt to install the new PV system.

23. I have a PV system installed with a grant and feed-in tariff. Can I install a PV system with another feed‐in tariff?

Yes. However the new PV system has to be connected to the grid through its own separate meter however the only arrangement possible in this case is the “Full export: Sell all the electricity produced by the PV system. The application procedure for a feed-in tariff indicated in reply to Question 5 above applies also in this case.

24. I have a PV system installed with a feed-in tariff. Can I add capacity on the same PV meter and benefit from the feed-in tariff also for the additional capacity that I intend to install?

You can add capacity on the same PV meter however you will only be paid the original feed-in tariff on the original kWp installed and units exported above this limit will be paid at the marginal cost. You would still need the prior approval of the Regulator for Energy and Water Services and Enemalta plc before adding any PV capacity.

25. When will the period for guaranteed payment of the feed-in tariff start?

The period for guaranteed payment of the feed-in tariff will start once the PV system is connected to the grid through the necessary metering provided by Enemalta plc.

26. At what rate will I get paid for the electricity produced and export after the expiry of the period for the guaranteed payment of the feed-in tariff?

Any electricity exported to the grid will be reimbursed by Enemalta plc at the marginal cost.

Refer to FAQ 10.

27. If I do not satisfy the requirements for the approval of a feed-in tariff, is it still possible to install a PV system ?

Yes, you may apply to install a PV system according to the terms and conditions of Regulation 4A of the feed-in tariff regulations and be paid the marginal cost for any electricity exported to the grid. Normally under this arrangement the PV system is installed mainly for own consumption and sell the surplus.

 

DISCLAIMER

The information provided is for general guidance to the Feed‐in Tariffs Scheme (Electricity Generated from Solar Photovoltaic Installations) Regulations, (S.L. 545.27). However, the Regulator for Energy and Water Services accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to the information provided which is of a general nature only. This information is not intended to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual or entity, not necessarily comprehensive, complete, accurate or up to date and is not professional or legal advice (if you need specific advice, you should always consult a suitably qualified professional).

Only the Feed‐in Tariffs Scheme (Electricity Generated from Solar Photovoltaic Installations) Regulations, (S.L.545.27) including any amendments published in the Government Gazette are deemed authentic.

The following are the list of the consolidated legal notices:
•LN 422 of 2010
•SL 423.46 as per LN 422 of 2010 as amended by LN 70 of 2011 (4th March 2011)
•SL 423.46 as per LN 422 of 2010 as amended by LN 70 of 2011 and 63 of 2012 (9th February 2012)
•SL 423.46 as per LN 422 of 2010 as amended by LN 70 of 2011, and 63 and 236 of 2012 (20th July 2012)
•SL 423.46 as per LN 422 of 2010 as amended by LN 70 of 2011, 63, 236 and 357 of 2012, and 71 of 2013 (22nd February 2013)
•SL 423.46 as per LN 422 of 2010, as amended by LN 70 of 2011, 63, 236 and 357 of 2012, and 71 and 139 of 2013 (7th May 2013)
•SL 423.46 as per LN 253 of 2013 (3rd September 2013)
•SL 423.46 as per LN 253 of 2013 as amended by LN 271 of 2013 (17th September 2013)
•SL 423.46 as per LN 253 of 2013 as amended by LN 271 of 2013, and 7 of 2014 (14th January 2014)
•SL 423.46 as per LN 253 of 2013 as amended by LN 271 of 2013, and 7 and 155 of 2014 (13th May 2014)
•SL 423.46 as per LN 253 of 2013 as amended by LN 271 of 2013, and 7, 155 and 416 of 2014 (28th November 2014)
•SL 423.46 as per LN 253 of 2013 as amended by LN 271 of 2013, and 7, 155 and 416 of 2014; and Act XXXIV of 2014 (29th August 2014)
•SL 423.46 as per LN 253 of 2013 as amended by LN 271 of 2013 and 7, 155 and 416 of 2014; Act XXXIV of 2014; and LN 171 of 2015
•SL 545.27 as per LN 253 of 2013, as amended by LN 271 of 2013 and 7, 155 and 416 of 2014; Act XXXIV of 2014; LN 171 and 264 of 2015; and Act XXV of 2015

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