Solar PV System on Blackfriars Station to Halve Carbon Emissions

May 12th, 2011

Blackfriars station solar pv panelsLondon Blackfriars railway station is undergoing a major redevelopment that will see it install a huge solar PV panel system. The system, estimated to reduce carbon emissions by 50% and generate 1.058MW of renewable electricity, will cover some 6000m2 of roof area. The panels will be installed as part of a £550m redevelopment of the station that will include:

• A large array of solar PV panels
• Sun pipes
• Rain harvesting systems
• Thermal insulation

Simon Kirby, Network Rail Director of Investment Projects said:

“As a business we recognise the challenges of climate change and have a responsibility to consider this in the planning, construction and delivery of significant rail projects. Read the rest of this entry »

Keep Earning from Feed-in Tariffs even if you Sell your Home

May 9th, 2011

FITs moving houseHomeowners who install solar panels and earn money through the Feed-in Tariffs (FITs), can still reap the rewards of the scheme even if they then decide to move home. Under the scheme, homeowners who have installed a renewable electricity source in their home, such as solar photovoltaic (PV) panels receive payments for each unit of energy they produce. These payments are guaranteed for twenty-five years and can be supplemented with bonus payments for exporting electricity into the National Grid. Read the rest of this entry »

Solar Panels Installations Surge in UK

April 28th, 2011

PV Solar Panels Over the course of the past year, the number of solar panel installations installed in the UK has more than tripled, according to figures published from the DECC. Not as big a surprise as you might think considering that period marks out the first year of the Government’s Feed-in Tariff (FITs) scheme. In fact, according to The Guardian, “The lure of making nearly £1,000 a year has led to a record 11,314 people, largely homeowners, installing solar panels in the first three months of this year.” Given the impressive rewards of the FITs scheme it looks likely that this rush for solar energy will continue over the next few years with more and more homes eager to take advantage.

Read the rest of this entry »

Carbon Neutral Homes – Government U-Turn on 2016 target

April 21st, 2011

The recent budget given by the Chancellor in March announced a U-turn on the criteria used to define a ‘Carbon Neutral Home’. This affects the requirements for new homes built from 2016 and could potentially include measures such as linking council tax bands to energy ratings.

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Carbon Tax to Increase Energy Bills for Homeowners

April 21st, 2011

In the budget of March 2011, George Osborne, the Chancellor, announced plans for a carbon tax that would be passed on to homeowners through their energy bills. The Government aims to raise £3.2bn by 2016 through the tax scheme which is likely to hit consumers through their energy bills. The tax comes in the form of a guaranteed minimum, or ‘floor’, price for carbon that will take effect in 2013 at £16 a tonne before rising to £30 by 2020.

Coal and gas plants will begin paying the tax in 2013 based on the amount of carbon they emit, and this charge will then be passed on to consumer who buy the energy through their energy bills. The increase is likely to be dramatic and there have been concerns that poorer households will be hit hardest. Read the rest of this entry »

Solar PV and Solar Heating – Interest Free Loans to encourage more homeowners to invest

March 17th, 2011

solar pv panelsPowys County Council in Wales are encouraging homeowners to consider installing renewable energy systems such as solar PV or solar heating with an interest free loan system. Having teamed up with the West Wales Eco Centre and Robert Owen Community Banking Fund, Powys County Council are offering householders Zero Interest Loan Finance (ZILF) in order to help them reduce their energy bills and carbon emissions. Read the rest of this entry »

Renewable Heat Incentive launched by Chris Huhne

March 10th, 2011
Solar Water Heating System

The RHI scheme aims to encourage homeowners to install renewable heating systems like this solar water system.

Chris Huhne today announced details of the Government’s planned Renewable Heat Incentive scheme. The scheme will be the world’s first of its kind to revolutionise the way heat is generated and used in buildings and marks an exciting opportunity for businesses and homeowners alike. The Government have set aside £860 million for the scheme that hopes to increase green capital investment by £4.5 billion up to 2020, stimulating a new market in renewable heat. Read the rest of this entry »

Solar PV Panels Power Carbon Neutral Farming

March 2nd, 2011

A family-run vegetable farm in West Wales is now carbon neutral and saving money after installing an 8.2kW system on the roof of a barn. The system consists of 39 210w solar PV panels . The solar PV system generates enough electricity to run all electrical farming operations as well as the farm shop and farm house, making significant savings in energy bills.

According to reports, the system is producing over 80% more energy than is being used by the farm, so the remaining energy is being sold to the National Grid at a profit via the Feed-in-Tariffs. Whilst the system cost an initial £30,000, it was completely installed and beginning to recoup the cost within 5 days.

The farm’s solar PV panels are being used to power the farm’s irrigation system and there even plans to convert the tractor from diesel to electric.

Whilst this might seem like a small isolated example, it seems only a matter of time before more homeowners of all kinds begin to take advantage of the savings solar energy represents. What is important to realise, however, for savvy homeowners interested in an investment, is that while solar PV panels qualify for Feed-in-Tariff grants, this funding decreases each year for new applicants. This means it is worthwhile investing sooner rather than later. Read the rest of this entry »

Solar Panels for Social Housing – Prudential sign Solar Deal

February 25th, 2011

Solar PV on housesSolar PV panels are an ever expanding market. Last week a 100% solar panel housing estate opened in Newcastle, this week social housing looks set to reap the rewards of solar panels. According to the Building News site, the ‘Facilities Management Partner’ Kinetic has signed a deal with the Prudential for a minimum of £100million of solar panel schemes on social housing, for which Kinetics will be the sole contractor. The scheme will also include ground-source heat pumps through the Renewable Heat Incentive, where these are viable.

Clearly, then neither Kinetic nor the Prudential are worried about the Government’s recent announcement of a review of the Feed-in-Tariffs scheme. In fact, according to Building News, the Prudential estimate they can make a 10% annual return on the investment. £10million each year? Not bad at all. But how does this filter down to the individual households? Read the rest of this entry »

Solar Powered Houses – Solar Panels on New Homes in Newcastle

February 18th, 2011

house with solar PV panelsIt’s been a week of big developments in the world of solar PV panels. In Newcastle this week, Miller Homes has opened its first 100% solar panel housing estate. Greenvale Park is the new development which comprises of 93 homes, all built to code level three standard. This means that, in addition to solar panels, they have a range of other home efficiency features including:

• Enhanced cavity wall and loft insulation
• An efficient boiler
• Low energy lighting
• Solar photovoltaic panels on the roof Read the rest of this entry »