Is your home ready for Renewable Energy?

If you are interested in generating your own electricity with solar PV, or your own heat with solar thermal, heat pumps or a biomass system, make sure that your home is in the right condition to make it worthwhile. It would be a shame to install an expensive system in the belief that you will recoup your costs with lower energy bills, only for the heat to escape through lack of insulation and planning.

Renewable Energy in your Home

Before adding any of these technologies to your home, it is advisable to have loft and wall insulation. Double glazing can also make a huge difference to the amount of heat your home loses unnecessarily. Another thing to consider is the efficiency of your lighting and appliances. Use low-energy light bulbs and, if you are buying a new appliance, get one with an energy efficiency rating of at least A+.

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Which Renewable Energy is right for you?

The decision to choose solar PV or solar thermal depends on what you want to achieve. Like heat pumps and biomass systems, solar thermal is a means of heating water, whereas solar PV provides electricity for the home. Remember, if you are thinking of having solar panels installed, you will need a large-enough roof which is within 90 degrees of facing south.

Another factor to consider is the kind of system you are hoping to replace. For example, heat pumps are much more cost-effective as a replacement for electrical or coal systems than they are for gas systems.

Solar Thermal or Solar PV

If you are hoping to get microgeneration technology with help from the Green Deal, an assessor will visit you and make recommendations based on your home’s current energy usage and efficiency.

Useful websites for installing renewables

If you want to benefit from any of the financial incentives on offer, you will need to meet certain criteria and have the documentation to prove it. Below are some of the government agencies and schemes that you may need to contact.

Energy Performance Certificate

An EPC outlines a home’s energy efficiency and indicates its potential for improvements. All new homes are issued with an EPC.

To get an Energy Performance Certificate for your home visit: www.epcregister.com

Microgeneration Certification Scheme

All technologies and installers need to be approved by the MCS. This is a quality assurance scheme which is supported by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (see below), and is an eligibility requirement for the government’s financial incentives like the Feed-in Tariff and the Renewable Heat Incentive.

To find a certified installer visit: www.microgenerationcertification.org/consumers/installer-search

Department of Energy and Climate Change

The DECC is the UK government department which oversees the financial incentives, the Feed-in Tariff and the Renewable Heat Incentive. It also runs the Green Deal Oversight and Registration Body (GD ORB).

If you need to find a Green Deal assessor and/or provider, visit: from the governments Department of Energy and Climate Change.

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