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Community-owned energy offers investment opportunities for all

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 31 July 2012 at 10:18 am

Community-owned energy offers investment opportunities for all

Banks are not the flavour of the month, and interest rates on traditional savings aren't attractive, so is investment in renewable energy a viable alternative? Even if you haven't got a suitable site (or the cash) to generate electricity yourself, you can benefit from the feed-in tariff, by investin…

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Can I get the feed-in tariff for second hand equipment?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 30 July 2012 at 9:52 am

Can I get the feed-in tariff for second hand equipment?

Rather to my surprise the recent consultation on the feed-in tariff (FIT) decided not to make any changes to the rules on whether second-hand technology was eligible for the government incentive. My surprise wasn't that they decided not to make any changes, but to find that any second hand equip…

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Readers tips of the month - insulation and condensation

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 26 July 2012 at 10:33 am

Readers tips of the month - insulation and condensation

Insulation and condensation often appear in the same sentence - but you surely don't want them to appear together in your house. So my favourite tip from YouGen readers is the following sage advice from Harmsy who says: "Before insulating in the loft to 'modern standards' do check that …

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Check to make sure that your solar panels are mounted correctly

Posted by Stuart Houghton on 26 July 2012 at 9:06 am

Check to make sure that your solar panels are mounted correctly

As we recently completed a solar PV installation, the customer watched intently as we measured and set up the rails to mount the solar modules on. As always we took our time to get all the measurements right and doubled checked before the first bracket was installed. "Surely the spacing of the r…

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It's a bit of a sun trap: installing a 10kW domestic solar PV system

Posted by Andy Barrowcliffe on 25 July 2012 at 9:54 am

It's a bit of a sun trap: installing a 10kW domestic solar PV system

Last summer, I was having a BBQ in my back garden when one of the guests commented that the garden was a 'bit of a sun trap'. I knew this already from time spent outside, but it triggered a thought about installing solar PV.   I had recently picked up an electric car as part of a 12 …

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Changes to the feed-in tariff from 1 December 2012

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 23 July 2012 at 3:07 pm

Changes to the feed-in tariff from 1 December 2012

On Friday the Department of Energy and Climate Change DECC announced the changes to the feed-in tariff that will come into play on 1 December 2012. Here are the main points that impact on domestic, community and SME installations. Changes to tariffs DECC has capped the rate of generation t…

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Feed-in tariff changes give hope for community energy projects

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 23 July 2012 at 2:48 pm

Feed-in tariff changes give hope for community energy projects

Community energy schemes should find it easier to get off the ground as the government has removed some of the barriers that they faced. Changes to the feed-in tariff scheme following the 2B consultation where announced on Friday, and will come into force from 1 December 2012. Key to the changes …

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Can I take my solar panels with me when I move and still get FITs?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 23 July 2012 at 9:59 am

Can I take my solar panels with me when I move and still get FITs?

Q: What happens if you have PV installed on your house and you move, and take the PV with you and reinstall it on your new house: do you continue to receive your original feed-in tariff rate? A: I'm afraid not. Worse that that, you don't get any feed-in tariff at all. If you reinstall your solar …

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Online retailers flout legal requirement to display energy labels

Posted by Ross Lammas on 20 July 2012 at 11:57 am

Online retailers flout legal requirement to display energy labels

More than half of online retailers are not displaying full energy label information - yet it’s a legal obligation for them to do so! Wherever you purchase a washing machine, TV or other electrical appliance, energy efficiency information should be displayed, whether you buy it from the …

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Some useful facts about the cost of renewable energy

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 19 July 2012 at 3:24 pm

Some useful facts about the cost of renewable energy

The press is full of misleading (often just downright wrong) information about the cost of renewable energy and the amount it contributes to our energy bills. So we should all be grateful to Merlin Hyman at RegenSW who had dug out the facts, and referenced them all. Here's an extract from a recent n…

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Is going to court the best way to get change for the better?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 18 July 2012 at 11:58 am

Is going to court the best way to get change for the better?

The people that enforce regulation are never popular and, as a result of all the government subsidy that goes into it, the renewable energy sector probably has more scrutiny and enforcement than most. But what makes a good regulator? I ask this question as a solar installer has recently filed a c…

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How to sell energy efficiency to domestic customers (with or without the Green Deal)

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 18 July 2012 at 9:23 am

How to sell energy efficiency to domestic customers (with or without the Green Deal)

Cost savings are not the most effective way of selling energy efficiency measures  according to new research. In What's in it for me? Consumer Focus has analysed 15 projects that set out to increase energy efficiency behaviour in householders. It concludes that "saving money on bills is a usef…

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How to invest in renewable energy via your pension scheme

Posted by John Ditchfield on 17 July 2012 at 9:10 am

How to invest in renewable energy via your pension scheme

In my experience most people find the subject of pensions rather difficult to comprehend, with their wicked combination of technical complexity and the very long-term nature of most schemes; for most private investors pension schemes are a great turn-off. This is unfortunate because the tax benefits…

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An introduction to water source heat pumps and how they work

Posted by John Barker-Brown on 12 July 2012 at 9:36 am

An introduction to water source heat pumps and how they work

The majority of heat pumps sold within the UK are either ground source or air source. However, water is another source of energy which can sometimes be used for heat pumps. Using water as your energy source has a number of advantages when compared to air or ground source: • The…

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Is your condensing boiler actually condensing?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 11 July 2012 at 9:23 am

Is your condensing boiler actually condensing?

"The majority of condensing combi boilers don't condense in hot water mode" said a speaker at a conference I attended recently. I pricked up my ears. Is this a problem? Are people being conned? How much does that affect their performance? I wanted to know. And I also wanted to know …

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Sizing a heat pump correctly is vital for good performance

Posted by Gabriel Wondrausch on 9 July 2012 at 9:17 am

Sizing a heat pump correctly is vital for good performance

Unlike a conventional fossil fuel boiler it is essential that a heat pump is sized accurately to meet the heat demand of the property. The reason for this is because over-sizing will significantly increase the capital cost for little operational savings. It will also mean that the heat pump oper…

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Making your house more energy efficient: where do we start?

Posted by greentomatoenergy . on 6 July 2012 at 9:50 am

Making your house more energy efficient: where do we start?

When I came to the energy efficiency business three years ago, I didn’t know anything about the technologies involved or the technical detail that goes behind them. What I did know, is that people like me wanted to save energy at home.   The thing preventing me and many others from…

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Green Deal is set to be a great success!

Posted by Adrian Wright on 5 July 2012 at 11:03 am

Green Deal is set to be a great success!

Sorry! I had to start the blog with a positive title about Green Deal in the hope that it may make it into my daily "green deal" Google alert email to counter all of the depressing negativity that usually fills the headlines.   Every man and his dog has jumped on the &lsq…

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What happens to the feed-in tariff when you sell your house

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 3 July 2012 at 9:08 am

What happens to the feed-in tariff when you sell your house

I recently spoke to someone who installed solar PV when the feed-in tariff rate was 43p per kWh for small systems. They had been told by an EDF customer service person that when they sold their house, the new owner would have a new contract with EDF and wouldn't be eligible for the same tariff level…

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SMEs can participate in the Green Deal on their own terms with launch of new organisation

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 2 July 2012 at 8:53 am

SMEs can participate in the Green Deal on their own terms with launch of new organisation

What's in it for SMEs? is a regular lament about the Green Deal. Businesses are concerned that they will be given small pickings around the edges, and their margins will be squeezed to breaking point, and quality will fly out the window. Well all this doom mongering may not come to pass, as a gro…

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