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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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A crazy end to a crazy year for solar PV

Posted by Howard Johns on 23 December 2011 at 4:01 pm

A crazy end to a crazy year for solar PV

2011 has been a crazy year to be working in PV in the UK. Massive growth in the sector, 2,500 new companies, 100,000 installations, huge cost reductions and three reviews of the feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme; with the most recent proposing to shut the industry down to 5 per cent of what it has been t…

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Buyer beware as high court judgement on solar PV leaves consumers in limbo

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 23 December 2011 at 11:57 am

Buyer beware as high court judgement on solar PV leaves consumers in limbo

The way the cuts to the solar PV incentive were introduced has been judged 'unlawful' by the High Court. Friends of the Earth, Solarcentury and HomeSun took the government to court, because the cut off date for the changes to to the feed-in tariff rates was before the end of the consultation period.…

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What we want for Christmas from Santa (aka Greg Barker)

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 22 December 2011 at 11:07 am

What we want for Christmas from Santa (aka Greg Barker)

This week has got progressively worse and worse for DECC (the department for energy and climate change) as all its green policies came under fire. First, Adair Turner, the chair of the Committee on Climate Change published an open letter to Energy Secretary Chris Huhne criticising the low ambitio…

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Solar will exert a downward force on electricity prices

Posted by James Page on 22 December 2011 at 10:09 am

Solar will exert a downward force on electricity prices

There is still a day left to submit responses to the consultation on solar feed-in tariffs.  Which is just as well as those in the industry have been a tad busy until now.    Ironically my submission will centre on a point I also made in relation to nuclear power four years…

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Secondary glazing for sash windows cuts cost and increases comfort (Revised)

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 21 December 2011 at 2:50 pm

Secondary glazing for sash windows cuts cost and increases comfort (Revised)

Winner of our Keep Warm: Spend Less competition 'I bought my existing house in 2009 and, although the walls had been well insulated in 1994 by the developer with 100mm expanded polystyrene fitted between the studs, there were improvements that could be made,' writes Brian John Griffiths, o…

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Solar feed-in tariff consultation is a sham, say YouGen users

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 21 December 2011 at 12:26 pm

Solar feed-in tariff consultation is a sham, say YouGen users

Disingenuous. Suspicious. Untrustworthy. These are just some of the words used by respondents to our recent survey (pdf) to describe the government's consultation on the feed-in tariff (FIT) review. By setting a cut off date for installations that is before the end of the consultation the governm…

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Does cavity wall insulation cause damp & condensation?

Posted by Tim Pullen on 19 December 2011 at 3:58 pm

Does cavity wall insulation cause damp & condensation?

Q: I am considering having cavity wall insulation but have read that it can cause damp and condensation. Would be interested in your views. A: Cavity wall insulation is a great idea if you have a clean cavity. It is true that filling the cavity with insulation can cause damp and this is usu…

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Solar hot water: readers' tip of the month

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 16 December 2011 at 2:34 pm

Solar hot water: readers' tip of the month

My wife and I have been considering installing some form of renewable energy for several years. With teenagers in the house, a boiler and hot water tank that needed replacing we opted to install a solar heated hot water system. Since the installation of a 30 tube collector and a 300 litre dual co…

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Vote for your favourite

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 16 December 2011 at 12:18 pm

Vote for your favourite

We asked for your stories on how you've managed to keep warm at home while spending less. This week we published the five shortlisted stories, and we're asking you, our readers, to choose the winner (they will get a Black & Decker thermal heat detector). These are the blogs: DIY double gla…

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DIY double glazing solves chills in a Victorian semi

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 16 December 2011 at 9:33 am

DIY double glazing solves chills in a Victorian semi

'My wife and I moved into our new home with baby and toddler in tow some six years ago,' writes Dan Saniaszek. 'I say “new”, but in reality it was a late Victorian semi.  Thankfully, not a draughty and cold horror story, but still a long way from being energy efficient.  Over the years…

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Barker confirms 21p FIT rate: could this spark another mini solar boom?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 15 December 2011 at 10:21 am

Barker confirms 21p FIT rate: could this spark another mini solar boom?

In an uncertain world even a little bit of clarity is good, so we welcome energy minister Greg Barker's confirmation that, whatever the outcome of the consultation, the 21p rate of feed-in tariff (FIT) is fixed for the period from 12 December 2011 to 31 March 2012. That means that all systems instal…

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Secondary glazing for sash windows cuts cost and increases comfort

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 15 December 2011 at 9:55 am

Secondary glazing for sash windows cuts cost and increases comfort

'I bought my existing house in 2009 and, although the walls had been well insulated in 1994 by the developer with 100mm expanded polystyrene fitted between the studs, there were improvements that could be made,' writes Brian John Griffiths, one of our shortlisted contributors. 'Firstly, I topped …

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How we reduced electricity consumption from 10,000 to 1,500kwh a year

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 14 December 2011 at 8:40 am

How we reduced electricity consumption from 10,000 to 1,500kwh a year

"Around the time our second one was on his way and my office at home needed to get converted back to a bedroom for his sister, I was struck by how much energy I was wasting," writes Damon Hart-Davis, one of our shortlisted contributors. 'The single biggest improvement in energy efficiency that I …

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