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ENER-G Switch2 warms up financial returns on solar

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Complete solar photovoltaic (PV) data management service unlocks Feed in Tariff (FiT) revenue.

Funders and landlords can warm up their financial returns on large, multiple site solar photovoltaic (PV) projects following the launch of a complete renewable data management service by UK metering and billing specialist ENER-G Switch2 (www.energ.co.uk/switch2).

The end-to-end service provides a total back-office operation for multiple solar PV installations – making it simple for funders and landlords to unlock maximum Feed in Tariff (FiT) revenue on-time, and to monitor and protect their investment.

It has been trialled in partnership with a number of social housing trusts and is aimed at organisations planning and funding the installation of PV systems on large numbers of domestic dwellings and commercial premises.

Jayne Clare, Managing Director of ENER-G Switch2 explained: “The complex issue of collecting the data associated with electricity generated by PV and the process of actually collecting the Feed-in-Tariff payment is often completely overlooked during the project planning phase. We take care of everything – from receipt of Microgeneration Certificate Scheme (MCS) accreditation from the installer through to managing FiT claims and analysing and benchmarking PV performance.

“Other suppliers offer partial data capture and management services, but none provide such a complete solution as ENER-G Switch2. One key difference is that we manage registration with the FiT energy supplier, ensuring that customers meet the five-day deadline after installation to qualify for immediate payments and optimise cash flow immediately. Otherwise, they could be in payment arrears by up to three months.

“Another unique feature is that we analyse and benchmark system performance, and with our national technical service team are able to provide remedial action should any problems arise. Speaking from personal experience, the inverter connected to the PV array on my home tripped out three times over the summer. This went unnoticed on the first occasion for four days – resulting in approximately 70 kWh loss of generation, or £30 income. If we hadn’t been monitoring closely we would have lost the generation for a much longer period, resulting in a massively reduced FiT claim. If my own situation was multiplied over 1000 installations, then the lost revenue and cash flow implications to the investor or asset owner could be huge.”

She continued “The new service is a natural extension of our work with social landlords and Local Authorities. We have a proven track record stretching back more than 30 years of supplying metering equipment, together with sub-metering and billing services – generating more than 20 million data transactions per year and providing maintenance services to more than 56,000 dwellings.”

ENER-G Switch2’s PV data management service includes supply of Meter Instrument Directive (MID) approved generation meters together with installation and commissioning support; provision of SIM cards; FiT licensee registration; half-hourly generation data collection; reporting; monitoring; system benchmarking, and submission and reconciliation of FiT claims.

By utilising established energy monitoring systems, ENER-G Switch2 takes half-hourly reads from the meter to create a detailed electricity generation profile. Through the use of benchmarking, parameter setting and anomaly indicators, the alarm can be raised on poor performance, thereby protecting returns on investment.

Clients have full online visibility of their PV systems via the ENER-G Switch2 web portal, containing detailed easily understood information on the site, array and, most importantly, the electricity generation. The client can choose which information is most applicable to them and can track their investment from the moment it starts generating.

The data management service can also be applied to other microgeneration technologies and is being developed for renewable heat generating technologies in readiness for the introduction of the Renewable Heat Incentive.

Jayne Clare added: “Whether PV is being installed to reduce energy costs, to cross fund other energy efficiency measures, to support compliance with carbon reduction, or as an investment, the accuracy, quality and timely collection of electricity generation data is key to all stakeholders.”

ENER-G Switch2

Bradford-based ENER-G Switch2 is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of bespoke metering and billing technologies and services for multi-tenancy buildings – enabling residential and business customers to precisely monitor and control their water and energy consumption and pay only for what they use.

ENER-G Switch2 generates approximately 20 million data transactions per year and 8,500 energy bills per month and provides maintenance services to more than 56,000 dwellings across 435 district and communal energy systems. Of these, around 25,000 homes are connected to automatic meter reading systems. Among its customers are: Berkeley Homes, Hyde Housing Association, Network Housing, FCHO, KNH, Kier, and Gentoo, as well as numerous local authorities, registered social landlords and public and private sector organisations.

The company is part of global sustainable energy business ENER-G (www.energ.co.uk). In partnership with its sister companies the company can provide total energy service provision, including the design, installation, operation and maintenance of green communal energy schemes for both public and private sector clients.

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