Following our latest Green Energy post we have been asked for more details on how to start the process, potential firms to use and costs that maybe incurred. So to be clear we are not the experts on these matters or making recommendations but we are happy to share our experiences.
How to start the process – There are two options here. One is to look up the Government initiatives and follow links to suppliers, not always straight forward, particularly under the voucher scheme. The second is to look up companies that are renewable energy experts. It is good if you have an idea what you would like to do. From experience, one of our team was interested in solar power but also was aware that gas boilers will become more expensive to run and within 10 years there will be a move to do away with them completely. Their boiler was 10 years old and the seed was sown that instead of renewing the boiler to look into a new form of energy, namely an Air Source Heat Pump. The pump is electrically driven but with additional solar power it was felt this would be more cost effective in the long run and actually future proof the home.
Technical bit: There are Ground Source Heat Pumps, mainly for larger housing plots and sites and the sort we are looking at to promote for our housing of the future. Then there are Air source heat pumps that can be retro fitted to most properties. The air source pump draws in outside air and draws out the heat at a ratio of up to 4:1, so it increases the temperature fourfold and uses this to heat a water tank that provides all the hot water as well as heating the house. As well as being efficient it is also very smart in its use of green energy. Using an outside temperature sensor, it compares inside and outside temperatures. So as an example we set the temperature inside to 20 degrees and outside temperature is 13 degrees your radiators will be warmed 7 degrees = 20 degrees…clever. Instead of a conventional boiler banging out heat that’s not required. Also part of the heating assessment and included are replacement larger radiators due to the design of the system. Some thought is needed as to where the system needs to be housed but the experts will guide you with this.
This is not something you should do without expert advice. There are lots of companies out there but the ones used by our member was a Nottinghamshire company called FDG Group Limited at The Nottingham Energy Centre (IKANO) who are part of the Energy Performance Scheme. They are expert at Renewable Energy/Solar Energy, so do not fit double glazing or insulation but they will arrange an Independent Energy Performance Certificate for your home before and an assessment of your heating requirements.
Costs are so varied if you price solar and heat pumps and without knowing exactly what is involved can be a minefield. So for this example we will base our figures from experience. Initial costs for a top quality air source pump are from £12,995-13,995. This includes a full 10 year warranty and 10 year service plan included. Also included is a complete radiator upgrade. The correct pump and water tank and capacity is designed individually for each property. The system is calculated by running costs to pay for itself in 7 years.
If you then consider the Renewable Heat Incentive, based on our example of £10-12k, is paid back at £448 per quarter for 7 years it becomes a more viable proposition. Remember this initiative runs till March 2022. An option used in our example finance is also available over 5, 8 and 10 years, but obviously we are giving you a guide of what is available from a well proven company and a well proven industry product.
Costs for solar power vary for relatively cheap to expensive, but the example here the costs were £5,995 for 12 panels and Solax inverter (that converts roof DC current to AC mains current). The savings over a year are estimated between £200-400 per year. Allied to this with a solar boost fitted all your hot water is heated during daylight hours saving on energy for your heat source pump. With the added benefit of no gas bills. The solar system carries a 30 year warranty so is considered in our example a good investment for heating an power well into the future as well as support the green vision in supporting the planet.
In adding this information and using a real example we thought this would be more useful and give a real world answer to what a lot of you are asking and wondering.
Dependent on when this information comes out we have more information on another scheme aimed on lower income families from a Nottinghamshire County Council initiative.
Once again you will understand why our group is looking into these renewable energies for future developments in our area as it is important to ensure we look to take advantage of the smart technologies that will support us for years to come. As ever we will keep you up to speed with our progress and hope you will help us achieve our goals set out in our Neighbourhood Plan.
Community Development Focus Group
To find out more of our Green Initiatives information go here.