A bid we submitted to the Rural Community Energy Fund has been approved and a new project will be under way very soon.
This project will comprise a feasibility study for a renewable energy scheme for Marshfield which will update our figures from 2012 on wind and solar power and add in the option of Anaerobic Digestion.
Anaerobic Digestion ( AD) is a natural process where plant and animal materials ( biomass) are broken down by micro-organisms in the absence of air:
The AD process begins when biomass is put inside a sealed tank or digester.
Naturally occurring micro-organisms digest the biomass, which releases a methane-rich gas ( biogas) that can be used to generate renewable heat and power; this helps cut fossil fuel use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The remaining material ( digestate) is rich in nutrients, so it can be used as a fertiliser.
Many forms of biomass are suitable for AD; including food waste, slurry and manure, as well as crops and crop residues.
When the studies are complete we will be holding an event to explain the findings and get your feedback on next steps. We’re not going to do anything without the support and backing of the community, so this feedback will be very important.
New scheme offers cash incentive to households using renewable heating systems in their homes
A new and innovative Government scheme launched today will pay people for the green heat they generate for their homes.
The domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is the world’s first long-term financial support programme for renewable heat, offering homeowners payments to offset the cost of installing low carbon systems in their properties.
The scheme is open to everyone – home owners, social and private landlords, and people who build their own homes. It is available to households both on and off the gas grid.
Minister for Energy Greg Barker said: “This is the first scheme of its kind in the world – showing yet again that the UK is leading the way in the clean energy sector.
“Not only will people have warmer homes and cheaper fuel bills, they will reduce their carbon emissions, and will also get cash payments for installing these new technologies.
“It opens up a market for the supply chain, engineers and installers – generating growth and supporting jobs as part of our long-term economic plan.”
The technologies currently covered by the scheme are:
Biomass heating systems, which burn fuel such as wood pellets, chips or logs to provide central heating and hot water in a home. Biomass-only boilers are designed to provide heating using a ‘wet system’ (eg through radiators) and provide hot water. Pellet stoves with integrated boilers are designed to burn only wood pellets and can heat the room they are in directly, as well as provide heat to the rest of the home using a ‘wet system’ (eg through radiators) and provide hot water.
Ground or water source heat pumps, which extract heat from the ground or water. This heat can then be used to provide heating and/or hot water in a home.
Air to water heat pumps, which absorb heat from the outside air. This heat can then be used to provide heating and/or hot water in a home.
Solar thermal panels, which collect heat from the sun and use it to heat up water which is stored in a hot water cylinder. The two types of panels that are eligible are evacuated tube panels and liquid-filled flat plate panels.
Air-source heat pumps
Ground and water-source heat pumps
Biomass-only boilers and biomass pellet stoves with integrated boilers
Solar thermal panels (flat plate and evacuated tube for hot water only)
Only one space heating system is allowed per property but homeowners can apply for solar thermal for hot water and a space heating system.
The guaranteed payments are made quarterly over seven years for households in England, Wales and Scotland. (Northern Ireland has its own RHI scheme). The scheme is designed to bridge the gap between the cost of fossil fuel heat sources and renewable heat alternatives.
The Renewable Energy Association (REA) has already backed the scheme, and says its introduction could make 2014 a breakthrough year for renewable heating.
Mike Landy, head of on-site renewables at the REA, said:
Domestic RHI is set to be one of the highlights of the Government’s green agenda in 2014. It will mean that renewable home heating is not just environmentally sensible, but also financially attractive.
To find out more about the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive, to book a Green Deal Assessment or to receive free and impartial advice, call the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 (England and Wales) or Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282 (Scotland), or visit www.energysavingtrust.org.uk
For more details on the non-domestic scheme and free information on how to apply, visit the Ofgem website or call 0845 200 2122 (non-domestic RHI enquiry line open Monday to Thursday 9 am to 5 pm and to 4.30 pm on Fridays).
DECC recently announced several changes to the existing Green Deal Cashback Scheme (operating in England and Wales) which rewards consumers for taking action to improve the energy efficiency of their homes through the Green Deal. These changes were the result of feedback we’ve had from industry and consumers on how the scheme could be made more attractive to increase energy efficiency in households.
A quick recap of the changes :
The scheme will be open for new applications until 30 June 2014. Vouchers will have a validity period of three months, or six months for Solid Wall Insulation ( SWI). However, all work must be completed and vouchers redeemed by 30 September 2014.
The rates have changed for some items: Eg, SWI changes from £650 up to £4000. These new rates will apply to applications made or redeemed on or after 13 December and the Cashback Administrator will contact people affected by this.
We have increased the customer’s contribution cap from half to two thirds, bringing more households within reach of the maximum cashback rates for each measure.
For customers who do not want to take out a Green Deal Plan to make energy efficiency improvements we are removing the requirements for Guarantees and Insurance Backing for all measures except for cavity and solid wall insulation.
Customers will not be able to claim cashback for packages of measures that include a contribution from Green Deal Communities schemes, and from April 1, customers will not be able claim cashback for packages of improvements that include an ECO contribution
The new Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for householders is designed to drive forward uptake of renewable heat technologies in homes across Great Britain to cut carbon, help meet renewables targets and save money on bills. The scheme is a world first, and has been up and running for the non – domestic sector since November 2011.
Today’s announcement follows extensive consultation on how a financial incentive would work best for householders and takes into account lessons learned from the Renewable Heat Premium Payment grant scheme (RHPP) and the RHI non domestic scheme.
It is true that wall and loft insulation are very important in terms of energy savings. Getting your loft insulated can save you hundreds of pounds every year. But a Green Deal report does much more than just recommending insulation measures; it provides 1 to 1 tailored advice on where you as a household can save energy and of course, save money!
The little behavioural things are so often overlooked, but they really do add up. Here are some of the typical pieces of advice we offer at an assessment.
Lighting and Appliances
So who leaves their TV on standby? Your games console? laptop? Maybe your stereo and microwave as well? You are using lots of energy right there. If you are having trouble remembering it all, there are gadgets out there that track movements in a room and as soon as they notice you have left, all appliances connected get turned off.
LED lights are one of our favourites! Switching your home from incandescent bulbs to low energy lighting can save you £50-100 a year. But be careful – halogen bulbs are not very efficient, always go for LED. They even come in dimmable, so there are no excuses!
Doors and Windows
Draught proofing, those little strips of fur along the seal of your doors and windows. They make a much bigger difference than you think – in fact they usually pay for themselves within a year or two. How often as an assessor we see old, worn strips that have long since become ineffective at stopping draughts. Check yours and make sure you have some. Brushes underneath the door are also a great way to stop draughts.
Close your curtains at night. It is amazing how much of a difference this makes. Some people ask me if it is worth knocking out their 10 year old double glazing and replacing it with triple, when they don’t do simple things like this. It’s a lot cheaper!
So you are leaving some rice on the hob to cook while you watch TV – put a lid on it! Lots of energy is wasted this way – your food will cook more quickly, or you can set the heat a little lower once the lid is on.
Don’t fill your kettle to the brim for one cup of tea. It takes longer to boil and wastes energy. Just heat what you need.
Doing your washing or putting on the dishwasher? Make sure you have a full load. It takes the same amount of energy however much you have in there, so make sure it is full. If you only have a half load – make sure you use the half load option on the machine.
Drying your clothes? Don’t use the tumble dryer unless you really have to. If you have a clothes line and it’s a dry day, stick your washing on the line.
All the more important if you are on a water meter, there are lots of ways to save water in the home. Taking showers instead of baths, fixing leaky taps, watering the garden with a watering can.
Saving hot water is even more important. Remember to use your timer to heat your water only when you need it (if you have a hot water cylinder) and to ensure you have your cylinder thermostat set correctly. Most cylinders nowadays have them and making sure you don’t overheat your water is a great way to save money.
So those are just a few tips that could save you hundreds of pounds each year, and every household can do it. But of course, these things can only get you so far. Installing insulation and better heating systems etc. are also worthwhile ways to improve efficiency, and as Green Deal advisors we are always on the lookout to try and recommend the best deal for you. An example of some of the ‘big winners’ are below.
Winner – Loft insulation, despite the cliché, is very much one of the biggest most rewarding measures on the Green Deal. It really can save you hundreds of pounds a year. Even if you already have some, it may be insufficient (270mm is now the standard), so get it checked out.
Winner – Wall insulation. There are so many properties with solid walls, built before cavities came along in the 1930’s. It is expensive, but long term getting solid wall insulation (and throw in some ECO help) will make a big difference to your bills. Cavity walls are obviously more efficient than solid walls, but getting them filled is also a big winner.
Winner – Heating controls. Many people underestimate how much they can save with good room thermostats, programmers and thermostatic radiator valves. If you install all the insulation and a new heating system you need heating controls to ensure that you keep the temperature of the home at the same comfort level, otherwise the home will be warmer than it was before, but you won’t be saving on your bills. They also help you better control the heating of each room, and the times you want them heated – no more ‘forgetting to turn the heating off’, or overheating the little study while the big bedroom freezes. Getting good controls pays back surprisingly quickly.
Of course, the Green Deal is also there to help you get involved with renewable energy and with the Renewable Heat Incentive kicking in soon, there has never been a better time to look at these new technologies. Solar PV, with the benefit of Feed-in-Tariffs, will now pay back in around 8 years in many cases. Air and Ground Source Heat Pumps offer another way to save energy at a time when the cost of gas and electricity is spiralling upwards.
So the Green Deal is not just about insulation – it is a real holistic approach to improving your home. You stand to gain so much from just a few hours of an assessor’s time, why not book an appointment today?