Photovoltaics and Feed-In Tariffs

Photovoltaics and Feed-In Tariffs Questions

  1. 15. Photovoltaics and Feed-In Tariffs Questions

  2. 15.1.  If I am benefiting from FIT tariffs, will this affect my billing? How often will I be billed, and how often will I be receiving tariff subsidies/ rebates resulting from my photovoltaic equipment?

  3. 15.2.  Do I have to provide access to the meter reader every six months or are my readings collected automatically?

  4. 15.3.  What happens if my meters are not read within 6 months? Will this effect my bill and my FIT tariffs?

  5. 15.4.  I have photovoltaic equipment and I want to submit my readings through e-mail. Is this possible?

  6. 15.5.  If my bill was issued as an estimate, have I lost my FIT?

  7. 15.6.  Can I submit my readings through ARMS website?

  8. 15.7.  When will I receive my first FIT bill?

  9. 15.8.  What is needed in order to benefit from FIT remuneration? How do I apply for this tariff?

  10. 15.9.  What grants or subsidies are available for the purchase of Photovoltaic equipment?

  11. 15.10.  If I have more than one premises with photovoltaic equipment, can I benefit from FIT remuneration on each of the premises’ accounts?

  12. 15.11.  For how long will my FIT apply?

  13. 15.12.  What happens after the FIT period expires?

  14. 15.13.  I have purchased a property with a photovoltaic. Will the period for which I benefit from the FIT be reset to 8 years (residential)/ 7 years (non-residential)?

  15. 15.14.  How do I know which FIT applies in my case?

  16. 15.15.  Can I switch from Partial FIT to Full FIT, or vice-versa?

  17. 15.16.  I have noticed that I am being subsidized below the FIT tariff of 25c (Maltese)/28c (Gozitan) applicable! Am I being billed at a different tariff?

  18. 15.17.  I am the account holder of an Institution, which however is being charged at residential rates. What FIT tariffs apply in this case?

  19. 15.18.  I have recently applied for a tariff survey to change my account from non-residential to residential. Will this affect the FIT tariff I am being remunerated at?

  20. 15.19.  I have recently applied for a tariff survey to change my account from residential to non-residential. Will this affect the FIT tariff I am being remunerated at?

  21. 15.20.  Why am I being remunerated at 11c rather than the FIT rate of 25c (Maltese residential)/28c (Gozitan residential)/20c (Non-residential)?

  22. 15.21.  My account is in credit due to the Photovoltaic equipment installed at my premises. Can I receive a cash payment for such credit?

  23. 15.22.  I am buying /selling a property with a PV already installed in the premises. Is there anything I need to do?

  24. 15.23.  I am selling my property and want to take my PV with me to other premises. Is there anything I need to do?

  25. 15.24.  Is it possible for me to install photovoltaic equipment in third party property and benefit from tariff rebates?

  26. 15.25.  What if I want to install a RES generator of my own roof/ground, while leasing part of the said roof/ground to a third party who also wishes to install an RES generator. Is this possible?

  27. 15.26.  I live in an apartment block/ office block. Can I install photovoltaic equipment in the common area and benefit from FIT tariffs?

15 Photovoltaics and Feed-In Tariffs Questions

15.1 If I am benefiting from FIT tariffs, will this affect my billing? How often will I be billed, and how often will I be receiving tariff subsidies/ rebates resulting from my photovoltaic equipment?

If you are benefiting from FIT tariffs you will not receive bi-monthly estimate bills. You will be receiving a bill every six months based on actual readings, and eventually an actual bill every two months once your locality has been converted to automatic smart meter billing. FIT only apply on actual readings, and will not apply for a bill which is issued as an estimate due to the unavailability of actual readings. Exported and Generated readings are NEVER estimated.

15.2 Do I have to provide access to the meter reader every six months or are my readings collected automatically?

If you have photovoltaic equipment it is very important that ARMS has your actual readings every six months. Therefore it is advisable that you provide access to our meter reader (if you have a smart meter refer to “8.1 Will I still be visited by a meter reader once my Smart Meter is installed?”). If this is not possible, you can send us your readings through e-mail at customercare@arms.com.mt (refer to 15.4 “I have photovoltaic equipment and I want to submit my readings through e-mail. Is this possible?” ) or call our free phone on 8007 2222. It is important that you do so within five (5) days of receiving a note that the meter reader visited your premises.

15.3 What happens if my meters are not read within 6 months? Will this effect my bill and my FIT tariffs?

If your actual readings are not available we will issue a bill in which we will only estimate your import consumption. You will not receive any form of FIT remuneration within this bill. It is your responsibility to make sure that your actual readings are made available to ARMS every six months, either by providing access to our meter reader, or by providing all the necessary details to us through e-mail at customercare@arms.com.mt (refer to 15.4 “I have photovoltaic equipment and I want to submit my readings through e-mail. Is this possible?”), or submit these on our Freephone 8007 2222within the stipulated time window of 5 working days from when the ‘meter reader NOT AT HOME note”.
The above does not apply for customer on automated billing. For more information refer to “8.2 Once the new meters and devices are installed will all bills be issued on actual readings?”.

15.4 I have photovoltaic equipment and I want to submit my readings through e-mail. Is this possible?

If you are sending an e-mail make sure to include the following:

• Your surname and name,

• Your account number,

• Your telephone/ mobile number where we may easily contact you during office hours,

• And the following readings:

  • 1. Reading from your Generation Meter
  • 2. Export Reading from your Main Meter
  • 3. Import Reading from your Main Meter
  • 4. Reading from your Water Meter

All the electricity meters MUST be official meters installed by Enemalta PLC (NOT installed by your PV supplier) and we strongly suggest you quote the meter number next to each reading.

15.5 If my bill was issued as an estimate have I lost my FIT?

Not necessarily. You will receive your FIT remuneration the next time we issue you a bill based on actual readings. Nevertheless it is important to note that you are allowed to benefit up to a maximum threshold per year, such threshold is calculated as kWp of PV modules approved by the REWS multiplied by 1600kWh. Actual units read will be considered to have been consumed between the previous meter visit and the present meter visit, and this may result in an amount of units exceeding your threshold, calculated pro-rata for this period, and therefore remunerated at the marginal rate (i.e. currently set at €0.11c)

15.6 Can I submit my readings through ARMS website?

No, this function is still not yet available for consumers who have photovoltaic equipment. Your best alternative is to send an e-mail to customercare@arms.com.mt including the necessary details (refer to 15.4 “I have photovoltaic equipment and I want to submit my readings through e-mail. Is this possible?”). Please ensure that you receive an acknowledgment of receipt of this mail.

15.7 When will I receive my first FIT bill?

You will receive your first FIT bill within 6 months of having an official meter (smart meter) installed on your photovoltaic equipment provided that you either provide access to our meter reader, or that you submit your readings to us during the stipulated meter reading period. For more information on how to provide us with your readings refer to 15.4 “I have photovoltaic equipment and I want to submit my readings through e-mail. Is this possible?”

15.8 What is need in order to benefit from FIT renumeration? How do I apply for this tariff?

In order to benefit from FIT the following are required:

  • 1. An electricity supply officially installed by Enemalta PLC, together with a billing account. The billing account is created once the application for a New Electricity Service is accepted by ARMS Ltd;
  • 2. A PV system installed at your premises which is authorised/ licensed by the REWS. For such authorisation visit www.rews.org.mt, download a feed-in tariff form and submit it to REWS together with all required documentation;
  • 3. The application form ‘Connecting a Photovoltaic to the Grid’ (Form PV) is submitted together with all required documentation (including the form previously endorsed by REWS mentioned in 15.8.2 above) at ARMS and approved;
  • 4. A second meter (smart meter) is installed at your premises by Enemalta PLC personnel. This meter will register the amount of electricity being generated by your PV equipment. Only after this meter is installed and configured will FIT apply;
  • 5. Your main meter (which was already installed at your premises prior to the PV equipment being installed) is updated to register both (a) electricity being consumed from the Enemalta PLC grid and (b) excess electricity being generated by your PV equipment which is being supplied to the grid.

15.9 What grants or subsidies are available for the purchase of Photovoltaic equipment?

Apart from the Feed-in Tariff, you may also be eligible for a capital grant. Calls for applications for capital grants are advertised in the press and are accepted during a defined time frame. Although schemes were launched on an annual basis between 2008 and 2011, the issue of grant schemes depends on the availability of funds and is not guaranteed for the future. Further information on equipment that would be eligible and any open schemes may be obtained from REWS

15.10 If I have more than one premise with photovoltaic equipment, can I benefit from FIT remuneration on each of the premise’s accounts?

Yes, as long as there are the pre-requisites for the service mentioned in “15.8 What is need in order to benefit from FIT renumeration? How do I apply for this tariff?”

15.11 For how long will my FIT apply?

If you have a residential account you will benefit from FIT for 8 years, commencing from the date of installation of the official Enemalta PLC generation meter to your photovoltaic system.

If you have a non-residential account you will benefit from FIT for 7 years, commencing from the date of installation of the official Enemalta PLC generation meter to your photovoltaic system.

15.12 What happens after the FIT period expires?

After this period expires you will continue to be paid at the marginal tariff applicable at that time, which is €0.11c today. This may however change over time depending on such tariffs as may be set by the Malta Resources Authority.

15.13 I have purchased a property with a photovoltaic. Will the period for which I benefit from the FIT be reset to 8 years (residential)/ 7 years (non-residential)?

No. The period commences from the date of installation of the official Enemalta PLC generation meter to your photovoltaic system and it cannot be reset for any reason. You should make sure that all the information related to the photovoltaic equipment is provided to you by the seller prior to purchasing the property.

15.14 How do I know which FIT applies in my case?

The FIT will depend on your account category. Currently, if you have a residential account there are two tariff rates, i.e. €0.25c for premises in Malta and €0.28c for premises in Gozo. If you have a non-residential account your FIT rate is €0.20c. In addition there are three types of FIT schemes:

1. Net metering where you are refunded for each unit exported

2. Partial FIT, where you sell the surplus electricity you have generated

3. Full FIT, where you sell all the electricity you have generated

You will be remunerated with FIT within a specified threshold, such a threshold having been communicated to you by REWS following acceptance of your application for your photovoltaic system. Units which are to be remunerated beyond this threshold are done at a marginal rate, which today is €0.11c.

15.15 Can I switch from Partial FIT to Full FIT, or vice-versa?

No, this is not possible. Your agreement is fixed for the duration of 8 years, if residential, and 7 years if non-residential.

15.16 I have noticed that I am being subsidized below the FIT tariff of 25c(Maltese)/ 28c (Gozitan) applicable! Am I being billed at a different tariff?

It is probable that the grant provided to you for your photovoltaic system was more than 50% of the cost of the equipment purchased, such that the FIT payable decreases by €0.002 per kWh for every 1% exceeding the aforementioned 50%. You must consult Malta Resources Authority for further information or clarification. If this is not the case then you may have exceeded your yearly threshold limit and is being remunerated at the marginal rate, which currently is €0.11c

15.17 I am the account holder of an Institution, which however is being charged at residential rates. What FIT tariffs apply in this case?

The electricity generated and exported from PV systems installed on institutional household premises will be paid at 20c/kWh even though you may be paying residential tariffs for the electricity supplied by Enemalta PLC .

15.18 I have recently applied for a tariff survey to change my account from non-residential to residential. Will this affect the FIT tariff I am being remunerated at?

Yes it will. Previously you were being remunerated at non-residential FIT at €0.20c per unit. Since your account has now been changed to residential, FIT residential rates of €0.25c (Maltese)/ €0.28c (Gozitan) will now apply as from the date the account state was changed. Furthermore your annual threshold limit will be reduced. It is important to note that the duration period of the FIT will not change and will remain seven (7) years.

15.19 I have recently applied for a tariff survey to change my account from residential to non-residential. Will this affect the FIT tariff I am being remunerated at?

Yes it will. Previously you were being remunerated at FIT residential rates of €0.25c (Maltese)/ €0.28c (Gozitan). Since your account has now been changed to non-residential, non-residential FIT at €0.20c per unit will now apply as from the date the account state was changed. Your annual threshold limit will increase. It is important to note that the duration period of the FIT will not change and will remain eight (8) years.

15.20 Why am I being remunerated at 11c rather than the FIT rate of 25c (Maltese residential)/ 28c (Gozitan residential)/ 20c (Non-residential)?

The total annual remuneration is capped to a maximum determined by the KWp of your PV array multiplied by 1600kWh which in any case cannot exceed the 4,800kwh (residential/domestic) and 160,000kWh for (non-residential/institutional household). This threshold will depend on the number of panels installed, and has been specified by REWS in a letter sent to you following your application to have PV equipment installed at your premises. If this threshold is exceeded during a particular year, the additional units generated are remunerated at the marginal rate, which currently is €0.11c per unit.

15.21 My account is in credit due to the Photovoltaic equipment installed at my premise. Can I receive a cash payment for such credit?

Any credit balance will be carried forward and will remain on your account. You may contact us and have us transfer it to another account where you are also the registered consumer. ARMS will pay a credit balance accumulated after four consecutive billing periods provided that there are no pending dues on any of your accounts. To receive this credit balance you will have to submit a written request, either in letter and posted to ARMS P.O.Box 63, Marsa MRS 1000, Malta; or in e-mail sent to customercare@arms.com.mt. It is important to specify your account details, name and surname in your correspondence.

15.22 I am buying/ selling a property with a PV already installed in the premises. Is there anything I need to do?

Yes. You will need to inform the REWS in writing and you will need to submit evidence of the transfer of ownership and details of the new owner to the REWS and provide ARMS with an official document from REWS clearly approving the change of ownership of the previously registered PV system. This document must be attached to an ARMS Change of Consumer Form (Form F) for the premises being bought/sold.

15.23 I am selling my property and want to take my PV with me to other premises. Is there anything I need to do?

Yes, firstly you will need to submit a Removal application for the PV meter at ARMS. Secondly, on removal of the meter a Change of Consumer Form (Form F) Form for the premises you are vacating must be duly submitted to ARMS Ltd. You also need to inform the REWS that you will be decommissioning the PV system and notify or submit an authorization for the installation in the new premises. You will need to apply to connect to grid again once the PV system is ready and you have the necessary documents from the REWS in hand.

15.24 Is it possible for me to install photovoltaic equipment in third party property and benefit from tariff rebates?

Yes, this is possible. If you wish to install a photovoltaic on the roof/ground which is not your property, you should first apply for a supply connection. The RES installation is then connected directly to the grid, subject to the applicant obtaining the necessary authorization and subsequently license from the REWS. Given that you will not have any consumption in the said premises, and given the derogation from the requirement of Article 33 of Directive 2009/72/EC concerning the opening of the supply market, presently you cannot legally sell electricity to final consumers except Enemalta PLC. Therefore the electricity you generate (through your PV) installation would have to be exported all at the applicable feed-in tariff.

15.25 What if I want to install a RES generator of my own roof/ground, while leasing part of the said roof/ground to a third party who also wishes to install an RES generator. Is this possible?

There could be the case where the owner of the premises wants to install a RES generator of his own roof/ground while leasing part of the said roof/ground to a third party who also wishes to install a RES generator. In this case the owner (present account holder and consumer of electricity) would still have the two options (i.e. sell all or consume first and sell the surplus) while the third party who does not have any consumption in the premises would only have the option to export at the FIT applicable.

15.26 I live in an apartment block/ office block. Can I install photovoltaic equipment in the common area and benefit from FIT tariffs?

Yes you can and can benefit from both FIT options.