Green Energy

 

Feed-In Tariffs (FiTs)

Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) became available in Great Britain on 1st April 2010. And isn’t available in Northern Ireland - although this is under review.

Under this scheme energy suppliers have to (compulsory for big six suppliers) make regular payments to householders and communities who generate their own electricity from renewable or low carbon sources such as solar electricty panles(PV) or wind turbines.  When deciding on the best heating system for your house we would recommend that a heating engineer is employed to specify and design the most suitable heating system for your house.  This will depend on your budget, location and optimising feed-in tariffs.

 

Air Source Heat Pump

An air source heat pump extracts heat from the outside air in the same way that a fridge extracts heat from its inside. It can extract heat from the air even when the outside temperature is as low as minus 15° C. Heat pumps have some impact on the environment as they need electricity to run, but the heat they extract from the ground, air, or water is constantly being renewed naturally.

Unlike gas or oil boilers, heat pumps deliver heat at lower temperatures over much longer periods. This means that during the winter they may need to be left on 24/7 to heat your home efficiently.  It also means that radiators should never feel as hot to the touch as they would do when using a gas or oil boiler. This technolgy does qualify for feed-in tariffs.

 

Exhaust Air Heat Pump

An exhaust air heat pump works by utilising ducting to draw the warm moist air from areas such as kitchens and bathrooms back to the pump. The pump then uses a compression process to use the collected heat to warm up the water in the hot water tank (also part of the system). This hot water is then pumped around underfloor heating or radiators to provide domestic heating. This same tank also supplies the domestic hot water. An electric immerser kicks in automatically when there is not enough collected heat in the system. This system also has the advantage of controlling humidity - vital in a SIP house. The cold air is vented to outside and the moisture drains away via a pipe fed throught to outside. This works best in a tightly sealed, highly insulated house. It is not suitable for houses only occasionally used (holiday homes) and the technology does not currently qualify for FiTs.

 

Ground Source Heat Pump

A GSHP pumps the latent heat stored in the ground into a building to provide space and water heating. There are 3 elements to the system: a Ground Loop buried either in a borehole or in trenches, a heat pump and a distribution system, usually in the form of an underfloor heating system. It can cost in the region of £10,000 for the ground loop and heat pump, and £5,000 for the distribution system.  This technolgy does qualify for FiTs.

 

Solar Water Heating

Solar panels can provide the bulk of your hot water needs in summer and around half in winter. The system can only be installed on a south-east to south-west facing roof. The system can cost around £4,000 to install. This technolgy does qualify for FiTs.

 

Small Scale Wind or Water Turbine

Knowledge of the local wind resource and a suitably high site are requirements for the design of a domestic turbine. It is likely that a diesel generator and a bank of batteries will be required. Hydro power requires the source to be relatively close to the house. Costs are site specific and often high but there is a prospect of being able to sell energy back to the Grid. Maintenance costs should be considered. This technolgy does qualify for FiTs.

 

Biomass

Extraflame wood-pellet stoveThere are two main methods of using Biomass to heat a house. A stand-alone stove provides space heating for a room and can be fueled by logs or pellets. It can be fitted with back boilers to provide water heating. Boilers connected to central heating systems use pellets, logs or chips. The log boilers require substantial storage facilities and manual loading. The chip-fed stoves require a local supplier of chips, and space and access for a hopper. Planning permission may be required. This technolgy does qualify for FiTs.

 

For more information on renewable technolgies and FiTs visit the webiste of the Scottish Energy Saving Trust or the Energy Saving Trust (UK).

 

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