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UK green media agrees blackout on rogue solar PV companies

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 31 January 2012 at 11:01 am

UK green media agrees blackout on rogue solar PV companies

The UK's five leading green media companies have joined together to impose a voluntary blackout of renewable energy companies looking to exploit consumer confusion surrounding the Feed-in Tariff. The network of the biggest online sites is to create and maintain a blacklist of companies that will …

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Get the best out of your renewable energy system: make sure your installer tells you how

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 30 January 2012 at 9:18 am

Get the best out of your renewable energy system: make sure your installer tells you how

Renewable energy installers are failing to help consumers understand the value of their system or how to get the best out of it (and thus maximise the return on their investment). Research by Consumer Focus and the Energy Saving Trust found that while value for money is more of an influence on ch…

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Government loses feed-in tariff appeal, but uncertainty continues

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 26 January 2012 at 9:54 am

Government loses feed-in tariff appeal, but uncertainty continues

While the government failed to overturn last month's ruling that its rushed cuts to the feed-in tariff for solar PV are unlawful yesterday, the uncertainty over the rates still exists. As soon as the unanimous verdict was announced in the Court of Appeal, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climat…

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Living with an air source heat pump

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 24 January 2012 at 7:54 pm

Living with an air source heat pump

I regularly write about air source heat pumps, but until recently my knowledge was only academic, but on a recent trip to New Zealand I discovered what they are actually like to live with. At least three of the houses we stayed in were heated by an air to air heat pump. This means that the heat …

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10 things you need to know before installing solar PV

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 23 January 2012 at 9:04 am

10 things you need to know before installing solar PV

It's a time of confusion in the solar market, so it's especially important to do a bit of research and know what's what, so that the dodgy installers (who are in the minority, but often have big marketing budgets) don't pull the wool over your eyes. I'm writing this because a letter making seriou…

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Solar PV: readers' tip of the month

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 20 January 2012 at 3:48 pm

Solar PV: readers' tip of the month

Apart from installing a Clearview Log Burning stove, and living in an above average insulated property, Solar PV is my first major investment in environmentally friendly capital purchases. There are inevitably many 'cowboys' in the solar PV industry, and I have come across one. PV Solar UK Ltd cl…

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Solar security: grid connection and batteries give the best of both worlds

Posted by Nick Roach on 20 January 2012 at 9:49 am

Solar security: grid connection and batteries give the best of both worlds

We’re pioneer microgenerators who installed PV in 2006 before the feed-in tariff or the spurious ‘when do I get my money back’ argument appeared on the scene. We live in a rural area with no mains gas, with overhead power cables flapping around in ever more frequent storms; we are s…

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Solar PV: where we stand as consumers in all the chaos (updated)

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 19 January 2012 at 4:49 pm

Solar PV: where we stand as consumers in all the chaos (updated)

Much of the uncertainty around the feed-in tariff rates for solar PV has lessened thanks to today's written ministerial statement from DECC. The government has laid a licence before Parliament to modify the Energy Act, with the result that any solar PV installations with an eligibility date on or…

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Act now: insulation will never be so cheap again

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 19 January 2012 at 9:03 am

Act now: insulation will never be so cheap again

Loft and cavity wall insulation have been heavily subsidised for years now, but this year, the carbon emission reduction scheme (CERT) comes to an end, to be replaced by a loan scheme (the green deal). Insulation is the number one thing that will make your house warmer and more comfortable - and red…

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Solar PV: where we stand as consumers in all the chaos

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 17 January 2012 at 9:43 am

Solar PV: where we stand as consumers in all the chaos

The rate of return on solar panels is currently in a state of flux, since the High Court found that proposed changes to the feed-in tariff were 'unlawful'. Now the government is appealing the decision, the uncertainty has been extended. So what does that mean for someone who wants to buy solar pa…

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How a ground source heat pump works (video)

Posted by John Barker-Brown on 16 January 2012 at 8:15 am

This introduction to how a heat pump works will be of considerable interest to people who are thinking of installing a ground source heat pump at home or at work. Made by Kensa Heat Pumps it is one of a series of short videos aimed at educating installers of ground source heat pumps, or those lookin…

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Industry calls on Prime Minister to sort out solar mess

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 13 January 2012 at 10:17 am

Industry calls on Prime Minister to sort out  solar mess

The Solar industry is calling on the Prime Minister to intervene to end the uncertainty over solar power in the UK and put the technology on a sustainable footing. The call comes on crunch day for the UK's solar industry, and those who want to install solar panels. Today, the Department of Energy…

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How can we stop heat loss from our bay window?

Posted by Tim Pullen on 13 January 2012 at 9:31 am

How can we stop heat loss from our bay window?

Q: Hi we have a semi-detached 1950s bay fronted house and the only part not insulated is the upstairs bay (which sounds like it's made of wattle and daub!) and the flat roof above the bay. The flat roof part is perhaps 3 inches deep only, and covered with lead. Despite the radiator being in the bay,…

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BBC Dragons back solar despite FITs cuts

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 10 January 2012 at 7:56 pm

BBC Dragons back solar despite FITs cuts

"In our lifetime, a switch towards renewable energy is not an option – it has to happen," says BBC star of Dragons Den, Deborah Meaden. Quoted in the Yorkshire and Humber Microgeneration Partnership newsletter MANY (click to download a pdf), she continued: "Consumers need help to make the right ch…

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Why the RHPP has had little impact on the ground source heat pump market

Posted by John Barker-Brown on 9 January 2012 at 11:02 am

Why the RHPP has had little impact on the ground source heat pump market

The renewable heat premium payment (RHPP) scheme was introduced on 1 August 2011. This Government scheme provides a grant to householders investing in renewable heat technologies – solar thermal panels, heat pumps and biomass boilers – and was introduced as an interim measure pending the launc…

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Solar PV still in limbo as DECC appeals High Court decision

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 5 January 2012 at 10:35 am

Solar PV still in limbo as DECC appeals High Court decision

The Department of Energy and Climate Change yesterday lodged an appeal on the High Court's decision to allow a judicial appeal against the government's proposals to cut the feed-in tariff for solar PV. DECC had proposed that a cut off date of 12 December 2011 for the reductions in tariff (from 43…

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Using range cookers and wood burning stoves with a back boiler to heat your home

Posted by Laurence Jones on 4 January 2012 at 11:29 am

Using range cookers and wood burning stoves with a back boiler to heat your home

There are several ways of using biomass to heat the home. I recently blogged about independent biomass boilers that run on pellets, wood chip and logs. However, there are two other noteworthy ways of using a biomass fuel source in conjunction with a central heating system. Although these appli…

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