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Response to feed-in consultation will make a real difference

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 7 March 2012 at 11:33 am

Response to feed-in consultation will make a real difference

"This is a genuine consultation," says Alex Weir, senior policy advisor, feed-in tariff review, DECC. "We are really interested to know what the costs [of installing solar PV] are and how they are changing. It is in everyone's interests that costs and tariffs come down together." Speaking at the …

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Can I use solar PV to heat my water?

Posted by Paul Hutchens on 5 March 2012 at 9:18 am

Can I use solar PV to heat my water?

Q. Can you tell me what size PV panel would be required to run a standard domestic immersion heater?. I am not interested in returning power to the grid and want to dedicate the output from the panel to the immersion heater in my hot water thermal store. A. A standard immersion heater is …

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Find the best renewable energy installers: 11 points to check before you invest

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 3 March 2012 at 1:03 am

Find the best renewable energy installers: 11 points to check before you invest

1.    If you want to benefit from the feed-in tariff or the renewable heat incentive (the Government’s financial incentives for renewable energy), you must ensure that both the installer you use, and the product they are installing are accredited under the Microgeneration Certificat…

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Campaign to root out cowboy solar installers launched today

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 3 March 2012 at 1:03 am

Campaign to root out cowboy solar installers launched today

A campaign is launched today to help people to avoid “unscrupulous” installers of solar panels and other renewable technologies seeking to cash in on confusion surrounding the Government’s feed-in-tariff and other incentives. We have developed the campaign as a result of stories we've heard…

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Hydro turbine generates nearly a third of Devon Wildlife Trust's power

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 2 March 2012 at 9:14 am

Hydro turbine generates nearly a third of Devon Wildlife Trust's power

When Devon Wildlife Trust moved into historic Cricklepit Mill in Exeter, it decided to use the Anglo Saxon mill leat to generate electricity. In 2010 it installed a an Ecowave cross flow micro-hydro turbine, manufactured in nearby Crewkerne. There have been watermills on the spot since 12…

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Watt does it cost to run an electric heater?

Posted by Ross Lammas on 29 February 2012 at 8:32 am

Watt does it cost to run an electric heater?

Keeping warm at home is important and as spring shows signs of appearing it’s tempting to warm up a room with an electric heater, rather than turn on the whole central heating. But how much will it cost, and can you get energy efficient electric heaters? Unfortunately, the answer is no.…

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Got a feed-in tariff complaint? You may need this guide!

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 27 February 2012 at 7:53 am

Got a feed-in tariff complaint? You may need this guide!

I know from the number of questions we get about it, that working out who's responsible for what in the feed-in tariff isn't always easy. DECC (the department for energy and climate change) obviously realises it too. As part of it's latest consultation it's asking for feedback on …

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DECC appeal to Supreme Court extends uncertainty

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 24 February 2012 at 9:47 am

DECC appeal to Supreme Court extends uncertainty

The confusion over feed-in tariffs continues, as the Government applied to the Supreme Court for leave to appeal against the High Court's decision on Tuesday. A DECC (department of energy and climate change) spokesperson said: "We respectfully disagree with the Court of Appeal’s decision on fee…

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Making the most of your solar generated electricity

Posted by Chris Rudge on 23 February 2012 at 9:55 am

Making the most of your solar generated electricity

A lot of people ask how they can make the most of the power generated by their solar PV system. This question is especially important now the feed-in tariff (FiT) rate is (or will be) 21p as you will want to get the best from your investment. You will receive an export payment which will be 'deem…

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Solar PV does count towards new energy efficiency criteria

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 21 February 2012 at 10:58 am

Solar PV does count towards new energy efficiency criteria

Buildings must meet strict energy efficiency criteria from 1 April to qualify for the full level of feed-in tariff. When the government announced the change earlier this month it was not clear whether or not the solar PV installation would count towards the Energy Performance Certificate level D or …

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Readers tips of the month - biomass and solar

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

Readers tips of the month - biomass and solar

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 e…

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Heat recovery ventilation - is it a retrofit option?

Posted by Tim Pullen on 20 February 2012 at 9:21 am

Heat recovery ventilation - is it a retrofit option?

Q: Is heat recovery something that can be retrofitted?  A: There are two things we need to know about heat recovery ventilation: 1. It does not work in a draughty house. In fact it needs a high level of air tightness to work at all.  2. It is big, bulky kit. Ducts …

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Feed-in tariff: your questions answered - updated

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 16 February 2012 at 11:12 am

Feed-in tariff: your questions answered - updated

The introduction of the feed-in tariff ushered in a new and exciting era for microgeneration, but it can be confusing. Here we answer some of the most common questions about the scheme. If you've got any more, please ask them in the comment section below and we'll do our best to answer. T…

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Time to stand up for renewables

Posted by Merlin Hyman on 16 February 2012 at 9:14 am

Time to stand up for renewables

The recent anti-wind letter from MPs and some of the coverage of the rapid cuts in the feed-in tariff are evidence of an unholy alliance of right wing tories and the elements of the press targeting renewable energy. Blaming energy bill price rises on renewable energy subsidies also provides a us…

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Green Deal advice revisited

Posted by Linn Rafferty on 13 February 2012 at 9:03 pm

Green Deal advice revisited

A little over a year ago, I wrote Green Deal - will the advice be good enough? for YouGen. Time moves on, and slowly we are seeing more detail about Green Deal, including how energy advice will be provided. The Green Deal will be launched in less than 9 months (October 2012), and this article pro…

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Coping with the feed-in tariff cuts

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 13 February 2012 at 7:54 am

Coping with the feed-in tariff cuts

The feed-in tariff rates (FiT) rates for solar installations have been cut by half. Since the announcement last year, many working in industry have prophesised that DECC has killed the industry dead. But has it? The ongoing saga and debate surrounding these changes shows just how it important …

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Feed-in tariff consultation offers hope for community energy projects

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 10 February 2012 at 3:53 pm

Feed-in tariff consultation offers hope for community energy projects

The government is seeking views on how to define 'community' microgeneration installations, and how those who fall into the new definition could benefit from the feed-in tariff. It's looking at three areas in its consultation, announced yesterday: social enterprise, charities and social housing and…

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New proposals for the solar PV feed-in tariff and what they mean for microgenerators

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 9 February 2012 at 5:19 pm

New proposals for the solar PV feed-in tariff and what they mean for microgenerators

Last year the government announced that the feed-in tariff rates for solar PV would be cut in half from 1 April. Today it announced that it plans to make two more significant cuts in rates this year. The consultation on cost control for solar PV FITs has some good ideas for the future of the sola…

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Energy efficiency criteria for solar PV feed-in tariff lacks clarity

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 9 February 2012 at 12:42 pm

NB: The position is now clear. Solar PV will count towards EPC level D. Click here to read more. It's not clear whether or not newly installed solar PV panels are included in the new energy efficiency requirement of the feed-in tariff. The government has confirmed that a level D energy perfo…

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Feed-in tariff changes confirmed

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 9 February 2012 at 12:21 pm

Feed-in tariff changes confirmed

The government's response to phase 1 of the consultation on solar PV feed-in tariff rates was published this morning. The feed-in tariff rates The 21p rate of feed-in tariff has been confirmed  for solar panel installations of up to and including 4kW with an eligibility date on or after…

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