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Open homes: see how others have improved their homes

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 15 August 2012 at 9:35 am

Open homes: see how others have improved their homes

Every year there are more and more people opening up their homes, so others can see what measures they have taken to make them warmer, more comfortable, last but not least cheaper to heat. With energy bills on a steep upward trajectory, taking action to reduce your need for energy has never made so …

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Renewable energy market research: experiences of domestic consumers

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 13 August 2012 at 9:39 am

Renewable energy market research: experiences of domestic consumers

The best market research I've seen on what drives consumers in the domestic market for renewable energy is an excellent publication from Consumer Focus. Although it is called Keeping FIT, it is subtitled consumers' attitudes and experiences of microgeneration. Inevitably most of the experience is ab…

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Can I get an EPC for my solar installation before I finish my renovation?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 10 August 2012 at 8:47 am

Can I get an EPC for my solar installation before I finish my renovation?

Q: I am carrying out a substantial renovation of our new family home. Prior to starting it  had a EPC (energy performance certificate) grade F. I have installed Solar but was not told of the rules on EPC for the feed-in tariff, nor did the survey etc pick it up prior to installation. It ha…

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Definition of hard to treat cavity wall for green deal

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 8 August 2012 at 9:35 am

Definition of hard to treat cavity wall for green deal

We know buildings with 'hard to treat' cavity walls will be eligible for funding under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), when it comes on line early next year. But how do you know if your walls count as hard to treat? Greg Barker made a written statement to house of commons on the …

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YouGen sponsors SW Installer of the Year Award

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 7 August 2012 at 9:07 am

YouGen sponsors SW Installer of the Year Award

At YouGen we are all about promoting quality and excellence, and helping put consumers in touch with the best installers. That's why we've decided to sponsor the south west Green Energy Awards 2012 Installer or Supplier of the Year category. Run by RegenSW, the awards are now in their 10th year. …

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7 top tips for getting your award entry noticed

Posted by Gilly Jones on 7 August 2012 at 9:06 am

7 top tips for getting your award entry noticed

Who doesn’t like being recognised for a job well done? Awards are brilliant for PR and marketing, and we know from personal experience here at YouGen, that even reaching the finals of any award creates a buzz, and as for winning, well..... We’d love your business to have that buzz too, so we…

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Solar Power UK announces seminar programme

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 7 August 2012 at 8:56 am

Solar Power UK is proud to announce its 2012 seminar programme. At Solar Power UK in 2012, you can gain access to more than 80 practical and valuable presentations in three dedicated seminar halls. Across 14 carefully constructed half day sessions you will hear from the industry's leading experts…

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YouGen guide to marketing renewable energy

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 6 August 2012 at 10:35 am

YouGen guide to marketing renewable energy

While many of the renewable energy technologies have been around for a long time, the market for renewable energy is still young. The products are  expensive, the government subsidies can be complicated and (in the case of solar PV) a moving feast. Buyers are generally pretty ignorant about how…

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EPC software seems unable to handle eco improvements

Posted by Martin Hodnett on 2 August 2012 at 10:44 am

EPC software seems unable to handle eco improvements

Recently, we had to get an energy performance certificate (EPC) done to qualify for the feed-in tariff (FiT) for solar panels. We live in an old Devon longhouse constructed of cob. An Esse wood burning range cooker, a solar thermal panel system, and an oil-fired boiler (as backup for very cold we…

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Feed-in tariff rates for solar PV reduce today - but still offer good value

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 1 August 2012 at 9:29 am

Feed-in tariff rates for solar PV reduce today - but still offer good value

The feed-in tariff rates for solar PV fall today. This is part of a planned degression, which aims to keep the rate of return more or less the same, as prices within the industry fall. For installations from today the rates will be: 4kW or less: 16p per kWh (6.3% return on investment) …

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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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