ROCs Explained – what you need to know…

ROCs and Renewables

  • Applies to large scale systems of 50KW+
  • Offers revenue for your on-site renewable energy system
  • Excellent rates for renewables like solar PV
  • Variable prices – Average ROC price in Jan 2013 was £41.48

What are ROCs?

If you have been following the latest media updates from the solar industry then you will probably be aware of the two main government support schemes for solar power – Feed in Tariffs and ROCs (Renewable Obligation Certificates).

If not, then put simply Feed in Tariffs offer financial support for small-scale renewable energy schemes and ROCs for large-scale renewable energy schemes. 

If you install a renewable energy system of 50KW+ then it may be more cost-effective for you to claim ROCs rather than FiTs. Unlike the Feed in Tariff, which guarantees a fixed rate for the electricity you produce, the value of ROCs varies according to the market.

ROCs form a cruical part of a long-term government scheme the Renewables Obligation that aims to increase our renewable energy supply.

ROCs ExplainedThe ROCs process

The Renewables Obligation is a scheme that demands electricity suppliers to source an increasing proportion of electricity from renewable sources.

The ROCs are issued to renewable generating stations like solar farms and can then be traded with other parties, mainly electricity suppliers, in order to demonstrate compliance with the targets under the Renewables Obligation.

Each certificate records the details of exactly how each unit of the electricity was produced, who produced it and who bought it.

Demand for ROCs

The value of ROCs varies according to the market.

Suppliers who fail to present sufficient ROCs will have to pay a penalty buy-out price, which is RPI linked and set at £40.71 per ROC for 2012/13. This money is then recycled to the suppliers who presented ROCs.

ROCs rates for different technologies

The amount of ROCs issued to renewable energy providers differs between technologies. For example, technologies like hydro electric power and energy from waste will not receive as much as solar PV.

As of the 1st of April 2013 the ROCs received per megawatt hour from ground-mounted solar PV will be reduced from 2 ROCs per MWh to 1.6. This is a slightly smaller reduction than was originally anticipated.

The government has also introduced a new band for building-mounted solar PV, which will receive 1.7 ROCs per MWh.

Our FiTs and ROCs guide explains more about the details of these subsidy schemes

How do I sign up for ROCs?

If you are planning a sizeable renewable energy installation then your chosen installer should take care of the entire ROCs or FiTs application process for you. Make sure you choose an installer with the right experience and a strong financial backing – see our quick guide on choosing an installer and our installer checklist to help you find the right service.