Amid rising power prices, it is no surprise that the economic benefits of solar dominated the news in 2022.
From the increasing export tariffs to the cut to VAT, how households in particular could utilise solar power to reduce their energy costs and provide security drew focus as bills surged.
Solar Power Portal has taken a look back at the top rooftop solar stories of 2022, to see what the biggest moments and trends for the sector were.
1. SEG tariffs under review: How have they changed in their first two years amidst market turmoil
Published: 15 February
The most read rooftop solar story of 2022 was a blog on the Solar Export Guarantee (SEG), looking at how the tariffs had grown over the first two years. Brought in at the beginning of 2020, suppliers with more than 150,000 customers are obliged to offer a tariff to those with domestic generation.
Amid the turmoil in the energy sector seen at the end of 2021 and into 2022, the SEG landscape changed, with suppliers collapsing while others moved to increase their offering in response to high power prices.
2. Octopus Energy increases export tariffs by 36% for solar power customers
Published: 1 February
Increases to the tariffs available to customers were the biggest draw for Solar Power Portal readers in 2022, with the second spot taken by Octopus Energy’s increase to its export tariff.
Given the high power prices, the company increased its SEG (export only customers) tariff from 3p/kWh to 4.1p/kWh, and its Fixed Outgoing Octopus tariff has increased from 5.5p/kWh to 7.5p/kWh.
3. Octopus Energy doubles fixed export tariff amid high wholesale power prices
Published: 20 February
With the volatility in the market and with it the power prices continuing to grow throughout 2022, Octopus again raised its export tariff in September.
It doubled its Fixed Outgoing tariff from 7.5p/kWh to 15p/kWh, with all customers on the tariff seeing their rate automatically changed on 20 September. This included domestic customers with solar installations that also use Octopus Energy as a supplier.
Customers on Octopus Energy's Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) tariff saw their rate remain at 4.1p/kWh for every unit of power they export.
4. Solar sector welcomes cut to VAT on residential solar in Spring Statement
Published: 23 March
Taking the fourth spot in our most read rooftop solar stories of 2022 was the news that VAT on residential solar panels was cut to zero in the Spring Statement.
Then Chancellor Rishi Sunak cut VAT for the next five years, covering energy-saving materials and installation of technologies including solar panels, heat pumps and roof insulation, which currently have a rate of 5%.
A household installing solar panels on their homes will see £1,000 in savings, and then £300 on energy bills annually, suggested Sunak in his address to the House of Commons in March.
5. Project Solar under investigation over rooftop PV system integrity
Published: 24 May
Taking the final spot in our top five was an exclusive investigation from Solar Power Portal looking at domestic solar installer Project Solar.
The company was found to be under investigation over the integrity of its system designs, with the company further accused of using counterfeit mounting equipment. At the time, Project Solar was the subject of an ongoing probe by trade bodies the MCS and NAPIT after concerns were raised about the integrity of its system designs.