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Readers tips of the month - biomass and solar

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 20 February 2012 at 12:39 pm

This month's first tip comes from Lewis, a retired university lecturer who is still active as a runner, orienteer, and log collector.

He has installed a wood burning stove for hot water and three radiators (gravity circulation). He self-installed solar hot water in 2010 (which means he won't be eligible for the RHI when it eventually starts), and solar PV went live this month. He also has a water butt and an allotment.

Lewis's tips are:

"Wood burning is fine and very economical provided you can get free wood. We use 'builder's wood' taken as an alternative to the local tip from builders and neighbours.

"We also scrounge and 'liberate' logs from the roadside and elsewhere. A trailer, chain saw (electric for home and petrol for away) and a log splitter are all essential. Oh! You probably need to be retired!

Solar hot water was a doddle to install! About £750."

MikeS has a 16 panel solar PV installation, with half the panels on the garage,and half on the house.

He says: "Being able to monitor energy generation, even during the winter months, helps to raise further awareness of energy consumption and encourages one to focus flexible energy use to those hours of the day when most solar energy is being generated, eg washing machine, recharging equipment etc."

Photo by Alex Murphy

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