Renewable energy

Renewable energy sources do not produce any carbon dioxide emissions and therefore places little impact on the environment.

Thinking about generating your own energy?

First insulate your loft and walls, replace old boilers and make changes to your lifestyle. Then, consider your different options:

Solar photovoltaics (PV)

These systems use energy from sunlight to create electricity which can be used to run appliances and lighting. The greater the intensity of light, the greater the flow of electricity. These systems take the form of solar panels or roof tiles.
  • Panels are not light and installation will be subject to the strength of your roof.
  • You can use these systems for a building with a roof or wall that faces south.
  • They must be installed by trained and experienced installers
Read more information on planning permission for solar panels.

Cost and maintenance
Depending on the type and size of the installation, a typical domestic system will cost between £6,000 and £14,000. Solar tiles are more expensive than conventional panels.

For more information about solar energy in Rushcliffe, see the SunGain Solar Photo Voltaics scheme leaflet.

Rushcliffe Solar was set in 2010 to provide a free online appraisal of your property giving you impartial detailed information regarding costs, payback and potential generation that solar panels could provide.

Complete their online enquiry form to check whether you could benefit or you can work out feasibilities for individual sites using the solar energy calculator.

Solar thermal hot water

Solar water heating systems use heat from the sun to work with conventional water heaters and are able to provide nearly all hot water needs during the summer months and 50% of yearly hot water needs. A southeast to southwest facing roof, which receives direct sunlight for most of the day, is preferable. See Renewable Heat Premium Payment for funding you could get to help you with costs.  

Cost and maintenance
The general cost for a domestic flat plate collector system is between £2000 and £3000. The systems usually have a ten-year warranty and require little maintenance apart from a yearly check by the householder and by an installer every 3-5 years.

Wind turbines

Wind turbines are used to harness the wind's force, by turning aerodynamic blades that then turn a rotator to create electricity. Small-scale wind turbines are now available to purchase for home use, these can be installed on roofs. A typical domestic system would be 2.5 to 6 kilowatts.

Relatively minor increases in speed result in large changes in potential output. Knowledge of local wind speed is critical, this information can be accessed from the British Wind Energy Association website.

Read more information on planning permission for wind turbines.

Cost and maintenance
Systems up to 1kw can cost up to £3,000. Turbines can have a life span of 20 years but require regular servicing.

Biomass

Biomass is an organic matter of recent origin. The carbon dioxide released when energy is generated from biomass is balanced by that absorbed during the fuel's production. This is called the carbon neutral process.

Biofuels are produced from organic material, either from plants of industrial, commercial, domestic or agricultural products. They are either woody biomass or non-wood biomass.

Small-scale domestic appliances generally use wood pellets, wood chips or wood logs for fuel. See Renewable Heat Premium Payment for funding you could get to help you with costs.  

Cost and maintenance
The cost can vary depending upon size but the installation costs tend to be about the same. Stand alone room heaters cost £1500 to £3000 installed.

Feed in tariff

If you install an electricity-generating technology the government's Feed-In Tariff scheme (FIT) could mean you get money from your energy supplier. You can be paid for the electricity you generate, even if you use it yourself, and for any surplus electricity you export to the grid. And of course you'll also save money on your electricity bill, because you'll be using your own electricity. However, see information on the recent changes to the feed- in tariff for installations after 12 December 2011 - UK Government proposed changes to solar PV Feed-in-Tariffs.

Green Electricity

If you have already considered all possible ways of saving energy there is still one more action you can take, which is to transfer to green electricity (electricity generated through renewable sources).

To find out how to switch to green electricity visit the Green Electricity website. For additional information check the UKPower website.

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