Renewable energy technologies harness natural power sources to provide a free electricity and heating. They offer an alternative to fossil fuels and help reduce CO2 emissions.
In addition to helping you protect your household from the rising costs of energy, installing renewable technologies can also generate an income for you.
Solar Thermal Panels – Domestic Hot Water Heating
This technology is designed to heat domestic hot water in conjunction with your gas, oil, solid fuel boiler or electric immersion heater. It uses a heat exchanger or coil installed into a domestic hot water cylinder, usually at the base. A fluid is heated by the panel which is then circulated by a pump through the heat exchanger/coil which in turn heats the water in the hot water storage cylinder.
Solar Photovoltaic Panels
Solar PV panels capture the suns energy. These cells then convert sunlight into electricity. The stronger the sunshine, the more electricity is produced. The electricity produced is direct current (DC) which is converted to alternating current (AC) by an inverter installed within the system.
Generating Electricity from Wind
Wind turbines harness the power of the wind to create electricity, the stronger the wind, the faster the blades turn and the more electricity is produced. Wind power can be suitable for domestic properties and may be eligible for Feed in Tariff payments.
Ground source heat pumps
Ground source heat pumps use pipes buried in the ground to extract heat for use in radiators, underfloor or warm air heating systems and hot water in your home. They use around a third less electricity for heating than other forms of electrical heating, delivering heat at lower temperatures over much longer hours than a conventional boiler, although if properly controlled it can switch on and off with the heating requirements of your home.
Air source Heat Pumps
Air source Heat Pumps (ASHPs) absorb heat from the outside air for use in radiators, underfloor or warm air heating systems and hot water in your home. They use around a third less electricity for heating than other forms of electrical heating, delivering heat at lower temperatures over much longer hours than a conventional boiler, although if properly controlled it can switch on and off with the heating requirements of your home.
Hydro-electricity converts the potential energy stored in water held at height into kinetic energy (or the energy used in movement), turning a turbine to produce electricity. Improvements in small turbine and generator technology mean that ‘micro’ (under 100kW) hydro schemes are an efficient means of producing electricity.
Understanding Feed-in Tariffs
The British Government introduced Feed-in small scale (less than 5MW), low carbon electricity Tariffs (FITs) on 1st April 2010 to incentivise generation. FITs provide a financial incentive for homeowners, and consequently reduced pay-back periods for communities and businesses that are not traditionally in the electricity market, to install electricity generating technologies.
Wood Fuelled Heating
Wood fuelled appliances are best suited to properties without access to the mains gas network. The cost of buying wood fuel is usually comparable to oil and the costs of running a wood fuelled appliance should be less than LPG or electric heating systems.