It is important to remember that all these statistics are based on the date the systems are registered
The data available from Ofgem is all based on the date the installation appears on the FIT register, not the date it is commissioned. Although it can't receive tariffs until it is registered, the payments are back-dated to the commissioning date.
The FITs register therefore understates the installed FITs-eligible capacity. The delay is no longer as acute as it was in the early days of the scheme, and we are no longer updating the following figures for the reasons given here.
There is no way of knowing what the delay is between commissioning and registration, but this graph gives some idea. It shows the capacity added to the register each month up to Novemebr 2012, and the tariff year it is being registered for (in other words, which year it was commissioned in).
This shows that some installations commissioned before 31st March 2011 (in tariff year 2010-11), were still being registered after April - sometimes several months after! And a huge part of the registrations in September 2011, for example related to the tariff levels discontinued at the end of July 2012 under the Fast-track review.
Proportion of registrations relating to earlier of later periods
This graph analyses the one above to show what % of registrations related (as far as one can tell) to earlier or later tariff periods.
This shows months where 40% or more of registrations relate to previous periods - i.e. they look 'late'.
The few early registrations (for the next period) are because systems can be registered prior to installation.
Based on these figures, some 25% of the systems commissioned in tariff year 1 were registered after the end of the year (31st March 2011). And more than 90% of the systems registered on the tariff bands that were phased out at the end of July, were registered later.
We are not going to update these figures further, but latest estimates of the delays from instalation to application to registration are shown here.
Why do so many registrations look late?
There are a number of factors which can cause a time delay between commissioning and registration:
- The installation has to be registered with MCS, if it is under 50kW
- If over 50kW it has to be accredited on Ofgem's ROO-FIT system
- The owner has to appoint a FITs licensee
- The FITs Licensee has to register the installation with Ofgem
- Ofgem may check installations as they are registered
We can go some way towards identifying where the delays occur by reviewing the detailed installation database, as further described here. That seems to show that about a quarter of the delay is before the application is submitted, and the rest in the registration process.