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When is an EPC not required for solar PV feed-in tariffs

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 27 March 2012 at 2:38 pm

When is an EPC not required for solar PV feed-in tariffs

The new energy efficiency requirement for the feed-in tariff (FiTs) for solar PV kicks in on 1 April 2012. This means that the full FITs rate is only available for buildings which have an Energy Performance Certificate of band D or above. This is currently a bit less than half the UK housing stoc…

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Renewable Heat Premium Payments scheme is extended; RHI delayed

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 27 March 2012 at 10:35 am

Renewable Heat Premium Payments scheme is extended; RHI delayed

The domestic renewable heat incentive (RHI) remains elusive, as the government announced a second phase of the renewable heat premium payments (RHPP) scheme yesterday. The domestic RHI, which will reward people who switch to renewable sources of heat with regular payments for and anticipated …

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Legal battle over solar feed-in tariff ends in defeat for DECC

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 26 March 2012 at 11:31 am

Legal battle over solar feed-in tariff ends in defeat for DECC

Solar installations made between 12 December 2011 and 3 March 2012 will get the higher rate of feed-in tariff (43.3p for up to 4kW systems) as the Supreme Court rejected DECC's appeal on Friday. The industry has been dogged with uncertainty since the legal battle began in December last year. Frie…

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Can I use a compressor to boost my solar hot water?

Posted by Paul Hutchens on 22 March 2012 at 12:44 pm

Can I use a compressor to boost my solar hot water?

Q. I’ve been looking at different websites about solar hot water and you all basically say the same thing, “a supplementary heat source will be needed at some point”. Has anyone thought of using a small compressor in between the collector(s) and the hot water tank to heat the transfer fluid to…

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Readers tips of the month: biomass and air source heat pump

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 20 March 2012 at 9:02 am

Readers tips of the month: biomass and air source heat pump

When people register on YouGen we ask them about their renewable energy, and any tips they have for others. Here are our favourites this month: Drumrossie is retired, and lives in a large, old and difficult to heat house. He has installed a log burning boiler with a 60kW output and with 4,000 lit…

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What the EPC requirement means for people who want to install solar PV

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 19 March 2012 at 10:14 am

What the EPC requirement means for people who want to install solar PV

To claim the top rate of feed-in tariff from 1 April 2012 all buildings to which solar PV panels are mounted or wired must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of at least band D. As the average house in England and Wales doesn't quite make it into band D, this means that many people …

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Just two weeks for owners of energy-guzzling buildings to claim the top rate of feed-in tariff

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 16 March 2012 at 3:28 pm

Just two weeks for owners of energy-guzzling buildings to claim the top rate of feed-in tariff

Solar PV installations will only be eligible for the full feed-in tariff from 1 April if the building they are mounted on, or wired to, have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of at least band D. This leaves a brief window of opportunity for the owners of old, drafty buildings to get in before …

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Six things to put in your response to the feed-in tariff consultation

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 16 March 2012 at 12:39 pm

Six things to put in your response to the feed-in tariff consultation

Government will take note this time, so make sure you respond to the current consultations on the future of the feed-in tariff, says Solar Trade Association PV specialist Ray Noble. "Because they already had an overspent budget to defend, they didn't take notice of last October's consultation," …

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Otter and Kingfisher are regular visitors to hydro system

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 16 March 2012 at 12:05 pm

Otter and Kingfisher are regular visitors to hydro system

The range of wildlife species has increased at Devon Wildlife Trust's (DWT) new offices at Cricklepit Mill, Exeter, since it  installed a hydro electricity system.  The impact on fish is often one of the greatest concerns for hydro installations - and one o…

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Installing a biomass boiler: what it's really like

Posted by Harvey Jones on 14 March 2012 at 8:01 am

Installing a biomass boiler: what it's really like

We’re off the mains gas grid so I chose biomass (wood chip) to replace our old oil-fired boiler as I wanted to be as CO2 neutral as possible. It also meant there was no possibility of a catastrophic heating-oil spill. Our old, cold house already had central heating with radiators and we wer…

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Standalone solar PV defined for feed-in tariffs

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 12 March 2012 at 9:16 am

Standalone solar PV defined for feed-in tariffs

There's quite a lot of confusion over what "standalone" means in the context of a solar PV system applying for the feed-in tariff.  Understanding the difference between standalone and on-site renewables is important as it makes quite a difference to the rate of generation tariff you get fro…

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Solar hot water and the missing washing machine

Posted by Alister Scott on 9 March 2012 at 10:20 am

Solar hot water and the missing washing machine

Ten years ago we installed solar hot water heating. It's been great, particularly as energy prices have gone up.  When we did it, I had one professor of environmental policy (who shall remain nameless) look down his nose at me and say "but surely it'll never be economic?" That was te…

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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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