Gas and electricity price increase and the renewable energy industry.

The price for both gas and electricity is going up again. Last year the ‘big six’ energy companies outlined price rises of between 6% and 10.8%. British Gas, Npower and SSE have been the first to increase prices for their domestic customers, with dual-fuel bills to rise by up 11.1% in November, effecting nearly eight million households. This is indeed unwelcome news in the current financial climate. The cost of living is going up but wages don’t seem to be keeping pace.
Providers have said that the cost of buying energy on global markets, delivering gas and electricity to homes in addition to the government’s ‘green’ levies were all factors in the decision to put up prices.

So what action is our government taking to protect us from this exponential and frankly unaffordable escalation in prices?

The United Kingdom is turning to renewable energy more and more both on a commercial and domestic level.

“We are endowed with vast and varied renewable energy resources. We have the best wind, wave and tidal resources in Europe. “
Taken from the Ministerial forward ‘UK Renewable Energy Roadmap’

We lead the world in offshore wind, with more than 700 turbines already installed, providing enough power for two and a half million homes. We have the biggest wind projects in Europe under construction to help us meet our carbon footprint targets and to bring the costs of powering our homes down. New green levies, The Green deal, VAT cuts, green initiative investment and the government’s financial mechanism the RHI (renewable heat incentive) all support the widespread deployment of renewable energy technologies. Feed-in tariffs although previously cut by the government are now being locked in for periods of up to 20 years. The government is rewarding those that move towards renewable energy both on a commercial and domestic level.

What can renewable energy do for you in the wake of these and future price increases?

Co-generation and ‘green’ technologies such as solar panel systems, biomass boilers and heat pump systems are now more acquirable. Becoming gradually more and more enticing to consumers looking to save money and cut costs. New, more efficient technologies are being released to help lower our dependency on fossil fuels and cut our carbon emissions. A huge and vastly competitive market for a variety of renewable energy technology has opened up.
The renewable energy industry already employs over 250,000 people, by 2020 this figure could double as new more efficient technology in fields such as m-CHP fuel cell boilers become available. This is being driven forward by enthusiastic backers and developers, looking to sell their cost cutting, low emission products to the masses. Renewable energy is now available to all of us. It can save you money and help the environment in the process.
So, to summarize, the price of fossil fuel is rising, affecting nearly every household in the country at a time when typically we can’t afford it. Targeted practical actions are being taken in the green technology sector and it’s becoming more efficient and affordable. An investment in renewable energy has never made so much sense.

The Big Six raising prices again.
The Big Six raising prices again.

To find out more about renewable energy or to search a vast and user friendly database of over 7000 UK based installers visit:
www.renewableenergyhub.co.uk

With energy bills rising here’s two ways to cut the costs and lower your bills!

EcoLocker is set up to keep you informed about renewable energy products and services and then to put you in touch with the right team for your install. Read our user friendly and informative information pages to find out about renewable energy technologies that could help you lower your carbon footprint and save you money.
Here we offer a couple of widely applicable tips to help cut your energy costs.

Get free Insulation:

Before selecting a renewable energy system for your home or business we recommend that you first ensure that your property is fully insulated.
Insulating your home or workplace can significantly reduce bills. Loft insulation for a typical UK home can save you up to £175 a year according to the Energy Saving Trust. Cavity wall insulation adds a further saving of £135 a year!
The Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) is the Government target given to all large energy providers to reduce carbon emissions by improving the energy efficiency of homes in Britain. It is the largest initiative of its kind and even middle / high-income households can take advantage. British gas is offering free insulation worth up to £1000 to all households regardless of their energy supplier. This deal is only available until the end of November and homes have to meet certain criteria to be applicable. Government grants of up to £3500 are also available to those on or below the poverty line.
The warm front scheme pays a company to improve insulation on your loft, cavity walls and hot water tank. To qualify you must receive pension credit with your state pension, have an income below £15,860 and receive Child Tax Credit or Working Tax credits, or claim income support.
Click here for more information on Insulation.

Replacing your boiler:

Boilers account for around 55% of our home’s energy bills a year so finding an efficient one or replacing an old one can really help cut your energy costs. If your boiler is more than 15 years old then simply replacing it for an A-rated condensing boiler and improving your heating controls will significantly cut your home’s carbon dioxide emissions and could save you up to £310 a year.
Upgrading to a new A-rated boiler could save you £237 a year according to the comparison website USwitch. So with an initial cost in the region of £1800-£2400 it would take between 7.5 and 10.5 years to cover your investment.
Free Boilers are available via the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) – Affordable Warmth boiler grant scheme. This scheme is only available to pensioners or senior citizens who receive either State Pension Credits or Working Tax Credits (and are over 60 y/a).
Alternatively you might want to look into Biomass boilers. This type of boiler typically burns wood in the form of wood chips or pellets (see our Biomass Boiler Information pages HERE). They are however, more suited to buildings that aren’t on mains gas and that have space for the storage of fuel.

Take the home energy check at the Energy Saving Trust to find out the overall energy efficiency of your home, and the carbon emissions you produce.
http://hec.est.org.uk/

Figures show new record for Renewable Energy power generation in the UK

The department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has produced figures earlier in the month that show 15.5% of total electricity generation was from renewable sources in the 2nd quarter of the year.

This has increased 5.8% on the 1012 figures that had previously stood at 9.7%.

“This confirms what we have been seeing for some time, which is renewables steadily becoming more important in meeting our electricity needs, and wind being responsible for the lion’s share of the progress,” Maf Smith, – RenewableUK.

This is a clear sign of progress towards the EU 2020 20% target and is welcomed by industry professionals.

UK Energy from Renewables
UK Energy from Renewables
Renewable Energy Targets
EU Renewable Energy Targets

 

Source DECC for Images

 

Thinking of an investment in solar panels?

More than 450,000 homes in Britain now have solar panels with an extra 2000 solar panel systems being installed each week. The Great British summer paid off this year, driving up the returns homeowners made on their investment, but can we really still see high percentage returns after the cuts to feed-in tariffs?

The Solar Trade Association estimates a cost saving of £823 a year on an average utility bill for an average £7000 pound investment in solar PV, which equates to roughly a 12.5% tax-free annual return over 25 years.

So what do i need to consider?

The main factors (there are others) to take into consideration when thinking about an investment in solar PV are:

The pitch of your roof. In the summer the angle of the sun is 50 to 60 degrees and the standard UK roof is 30 to 40 degrees resulting in a combined angle of 90 degrees, the ideal angle to catch the most sun.

The direction your roof faces. To produce the most electricity your solar PV array should be facing South. There will be a varying degree in loss of efficiency when pointed more towards the south east or south west.

The type of system you go for. Different makes and models of solar panels will have different efficiency and output ratings, effecting how much power they produce. More expensive solar panels may generate more electricity and generate you more money through the feed-in tariff. In the UK the most popular solar panel manufacturers are Solarworld, Schott, Sharp, Mitsubishi, Yingli and Canadian Solar.

The hours you spend at home. If you are at home during the day you can use more of the electricity you are producing yourself. It can take a decade to cover your initial investment if that is the way you want to look at it, so some thought towards the long term is generally a good idea.

Possible unforeseen maintenance requirements. Many homeowners who invested in solar panels early on, when the FIT first started are now realizing what impact poor install methods had in regards to the returns on their investment. When panels have been installed incorrectly many issues can occur with the roof in which they are installed on, leaks being the major culprit. This can lead to expensive repair bills which are likely to diminish returns considerably. Your chosen installer should reassure you that the method they intend to use on your property will not lead to these issues arising.

All you will need to know can be found HERE but if you have any further questions, then the The Renewable Energy Hub staff are always happy to help.

Email Us’ to get a quick estimate of how much income and savings you could receive from the domestic feed-in tariff scheme. Then choose at least three MCS accredited companies to approach for a quote. Use our database of UK installers to find the professional for your install.

Solar Panels
Solar PV Install

Increasing debt swamps Solar PV manufacturing Industry in China.

It is thought that China’s solar panel manufacturing industry is not currently sustainable at its current capacity, following pressure due to a substantial drop in demand.

Significant growth in the sector, due to economies across the globe investing heavily in renewable technologies, has resulted in a dramatic drop in prices recently, that European manufacturers blame on cheaper Chinese Solar PV imports.

State-owned Xinhua news agency has reported recently that the government has been refunding a large proportion of VAT to these enterprises to assist with their mounting debts.

Chinese Solar Cell Manufacture
Chinese Solar Cell Manufacture