Feel free to browse through our FAQ section below to view some of the most commonly asked questions about our products & services… If you can’t find an answer here you can always contact us!

 

Biomass

Can a wood pellet boiler replace oil, LPG and electricity?

Biomass boilers are the ideal replacement technology for oil, LPG and electricity. By installing a biomass boiler, your heating costs and CO2 emissions will be reduced. With the Governments RHI, you will turn your heating costs into a heating income.

What is a Biomass boiler

Biomass boilers can deliver water temperatures up to 85°C, making them an ideal replacement for inefficient and ageing Oil, LPG and electrically fired boilers.

Biomass boilers are most commonly used in conjunction with radiators, under-floor heating and hot water

Austria is the home of biomass/pellet heating, boilers manufactured here are considered to be amongst the most reliable and efficient.

Please click here to view our video answering some frequently asked questions regarding running a biomass boiler and wood pellet fuel.

How does a Biomass boiler work?

They are usually fed automatically with wood chips or pellets from a store on site. If you have the space, we would recommend installing a store that can hold a year’s supply of fuel. This minimises transport and delivery costs for fuel, as well as ensuring there is plenty of fuel to cover the colder months without risking running low.

If you have a small heating requirement, then you may feel it acceptable to fill your boiler by hand, this saves you on space and will greatly reduce the upfront installation costs. Pellets come in 10 or 15kg bags and there is only a slight uplift in pricing for delivery this way. We have a hand-fill biomass boiler in our showroom, please feel free to come in for a full demonstration.

Maintenance is minimal, requiring only basic monthly user checks and an annual engineering service and clean-out. Depending on the heating season and usage you will need to empty any ash from the pellets, this happens once every 6 to 12 months and is a quick process as most of our boilers come fitted with an automatic ash box.

Please click here to view our video answering some frequently asked questions regarding running a biomass boiler and wood pellet fuel.

What fuel does a Biomass boiler use

Almost all biomass materials can be burned in biomass boilers, but the majority of the systems we install operate
on wood chips or wood pellets.

On a small scale almost any biomass material can be burned in a batch fed boiler including straw, wood offcuts, waste wood, and logs. It should be noted that the burning of waste wood and offcuts may be subject to the Waste Incineration Directive which prohibits the burning of materials contaminated by heavy metals (e.g. lead based paint) and halogenated organic compounds (e.g. some pesticides, sheep dip and similar materials).

We use a wood pellet boiler in our showroom for our under-floor heating and we are always happy for you to pop in and see how easy it is to live with.

Please click here to view our video answering some frequently asked questions regarding running a biomass boiler and wood pellet fuel.

Do I need a Carbon Monoxide Detector?

Extract from Building Regulations, Approved Document J, (applicable in England & Wales)

Clause 2.34 – ‘Where a new or replacement fixed solid fuel appliance is installed in a dwelling, a Carbon Monoxide alarm should be provided in the room where the appliance is located’.

Solid Fuel – Extract from HETAS ‘Protect yourself from CO’
Have your appliance serviced and cleaned regularly by a qualified engineer. Ensure your chimney is kept clear by having it swept at frequent intervals by a HETAS Approved Chimney Sweep. Make sure the installation complies with Building Regulations guidance. The guidance is there to protect you. Fit an audible CO alarm conforming to BS EN 50291:2002 and positioned in accordance with Building Regulations Approved Document J requirements.

Who are my local wood-pellet suppliers?

Wood pellets are readily available throughout the UK. We recommend Forever Fuels as local suppliers.

They are a leading specialist supplier of top quality (ENplus A1) virgin-fibre wood pellets, located in Newmarket, Suffolk. Please click here to see further details.

ENPlus Certification

The ENplus quality certification is a step towards establishing pellets as a widely used energy commodity. National standards and certifications are replaced by one uniform system based on the EN 14961-2 standard for wood pellets. In January 2012 the system was agreed upon by the European Pellet Council and enjoys the support of large parts of the European pellet sector.

From Spring 2015, if you are in the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Scheme or looking to install a boiler and receive the RHI funding, you will need buy your fuel from suppliers who are on the Biomass Suppliers List (biomass-suppliers-list.service.gov.uk). You will also need to keep receipts to prove where you have purchased your fuel from.

 Do Biomass Boilers give off pollution? 

Eco Installer follow strict rules when designing wood burning flues. This ensures that any domestic property near the system is safe from harm. The biomass boiler produces many fewer parts per million than a log burner.

Are wood pellets easy to get hold of?

Yes. Wood pellets are available from a number of manufacturers and specialists suppliers throughout the UK. Wood pellets can be bought in bags of varying sizes or delivered in bulk by tanker.

EPC

What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

An Energy performance Certificate (EPC) gives information about a property’s energy use, plus recommendations on how to reduce energy and save money.

When is an EPC required?

An EPC is required every time you buy, sell or rent a property.

Is an EPC linked to a Green Deal Assessment?

An EPC is included as part of a Green Deal Assessment, which is a requirement for most to join the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

Feed-in Tariff

What are the current non-domestic renewable tariffs?

You will be paid for per kilowatt (kWH) of renewable energy used.

The non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) tariffs from July – 30th September 2017 are as follows:

– Solar thermal – 10.44p per kWh
– Air source heat pump – 2.61p per kWh
– Biomass – 2.71p per kWh
– Ground source heat pump – 9.09p per kWh

The Feed-in Tariff (FiT) for both domestic and non-domestic installations are:

– Solar Photovoltaic (PV) – under 10kW 4.07p per kWh

– Solar Photovoltaic (PV) – 10kW – 50kW 4.39p per kWh

– Stand-alone Solar Photovoltaic (PV) – 1.99p per kWh

Tariffs are tax free and index linked

Government Tariffs and Incentives

What is the Renewable Heat Incentive?

The renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a tax-free and index-linked payment for a fixed 7 year (domestic) or 20 year period (non-domestic), to encourage the uptake of renewable energy as a replacement for fossil fuel heating.

By driving change in a heat sector currently dominated by fossil fuel technologies, the RHI can help the UK meet EU targets to reduce carbon emissions and improve energy security. In addition Renewable energy provided 6.5 million jobs in 2013.

The Renewable Heat Incentive is is administered by Ofgem.

What are the home-owners responsibilities for the RHI?

OFGEM list the 6 responsibilities of a home-owner as part of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. Please note OFGEM can withhold payments if they believe someone isn’t complying with the scheme rules.

Please click here to visit the OFGEM website

How long will the scheme last for?

Once you have been accepted on the RHI scheme you are guaranteed financial support for 7 years if your installation is domestic and 20 years if your installation is for non-domestic usage e.g. commercial, district heating and industrial.

Although the domestic scheme only pays over 7 years it is not a worse deal as you will receive the equivalent of 20 years payments over the period

Would mine be a domestic or a non-domestic installation?

Domestic premises are defined in the Regulations as ‘single, self contained premises used wholly or mainly as a private residential dwelling where the fabric of the building has not been significantly adapted for non-residential use.’

The eligibility of premises is taken into account by the way in which they are classified for ratings purposes. For example, the regulators will consider premises to be single domestic based on whether that premises is treated as a separate and self-contained premises for council tax banding purposes.

If you have a district heating system for multiple domestic premises, you would be able to apply under the non-domestic RHI as long as there are more than one premises which are served by the heating system.

If you property is rated commercial or industrial then you will qualify as non-domestic. For all other situations like community, farming, process heating etc. please call the office for the latest expert advice.

What are the objects of the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme?

The main objective of the scheme is to increase the up take of renewable heating systems to reduce energy bills, lover carbon emissions and reduce the dependency on fossil fuels.

At the moment, around 80% of domestic heating is provided by some 18-20 million gas boilers.

What technologies are covered under the Renewable Heat Incentive?

The eligible heating system technologies are as follows:

– Biomass boilers and biomass pellet stoves
– Air source heat pumps
– Ground (and water) source heat pumps
– Solar thermal panels

What are the current non-domestic renewable tariffs?

You will be paid for per kilowatt (kWH) of renewable energy used.

The non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) tariffs from July – 30th September 2017 are as follows:

– Solar thermal – 10.44p per kWh
– Air source heat pump – 2.61p per kWh
– Biomass – 2.71p per kWh
– Ground source heat pump – 9.09p per kWh

The Feed-in Tariff (FiT) for both domestic and non-domestic installations are:

– Solar Photovoltaic (PV) – under 10kW 4.07p per kWh

– Solar Photovoltaic (PV) – 10kW – 50kW 4.39p per kWh

– Stand-alone Solar Photovoltaic (PV) – 1.99p per kWh

Tariffs are tax free and index linked

How do I apply for RHI payments?

Please visit the Ofgem website: www.ofgem.gov.uk to apply. You will need the MCS installation certificate number, Energy Performance Certificate number and Green Deal Report number.

What are the benefits of Solar Panels?

They will reduce your electricity bills: sunlight is free, so once you’ve paid for the initial installation your electricity costs will be reduced as you will need to purchase less from the grid.

You will get paid for the electricity you generate: the government’s Feed-In Tariff pays for the
electricity generated, even if you use it all.

You automatically sell any spare electricity back to the grid: if your system is producing more electricity than you need, or when you can’t use it, you sell the surplus back to the grid.

You will reduce your home’s carbon footprint: solar electricity is a green, renewable energy and doesn’t release any harmful carbon dioxide or other pollutants. A typical home solar PV system could save over a tonne of carbon dioxide per year – that’s more than 30 tonnes over its lifetime.

Is it worth investing in Solar Panels?

The ‘Energy Saving Trust’ estimates that the installation of solar PV panels on your roof will give you a tax-free return of around 12-15%, which sounds much more attractive than most savings accounts or retirement funds. This depends on the suitability of your home and roof, the number of panels you have fitted and how effectively they work. As an example, if you have a 4kw system installed (16 panels), installed on a property then you could save up to £15.5k over 20 years in electricity bills.

The Government have introduced the Feed-In Tariff which allows owners to receive a fixed rate for electricity generated annually and for any unused electricity exported back to the grid. You can enjoy a steady income for over a 20 year period with Solar PV

How much can I earn from installing solar panels?

Solar Energy Calculator:

The Solar Energy Calculator estimates the savings you could make by installing a solar PV system and the payment you could receive from the domestic Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme for eligible PV installations of up to 4kWp including new build.

Please click here to view the possible savings on your own home.

Does the Government support Solar Thermals?

Yes they do and you may be able to receive payments for the heat you generate from a solar
water heating system through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive.

The Green Deal

The government has decided to stop funding the Green Deal Finance Company (GDFC). The GDFC was set up to lend money to Green Deal providers.

Green Deal

The Green Deal

The government has decided to stop funding the Green Deal Finance Company (GDFC). The GDFC was set up to lend money to Green Deal providers.

Heat Pump

What types of heat pump are available?

We are MCS approved to install Air Source, Ground Source and Exhaust Air Heat Pumps.

An Air Source heat pump (ASHP) is the least expensive heat pump to install and is perfect for low energy heating and hot water in a modern built energy efficient home.

An ASHP extracts ‘free’ energy from the environment and transfer it to heating and hot water through a reverse refrigeration process.

ASHPs can operate with outside temperatures as low as -20C and they can deliver temperatures as high as 65C, which is useful for existing radiators and hot water generation.

Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP) extract ‘free’ energy from ground collector loops, these loops are either drilled vertically by specialist bore-hole companies or spread-out over the available land space horizontally and below the local frost level.

A GSHP installation is more expensive when compared to ASHP but they can benefit from lower running costs, although this argument is less strong these days now that ASHP technology has advanced.

An Exhaust Air Heat Pump (EXAHP) captures energy that otherwise would have been wasted as part of the process of ventilating or cooling a building.

An excellent application for and EXAHP would be taking excess heat from a kitchen where it is not wanted and returning this as hot water that is always needed.

LED

What does LED stand for?

LED stands for light-emitting diode.

How much can be saved with LED lighting?

There are many free light energy saving calculators available, click here to estimate your savings.

What colour do LED lights come in?

There is a wide range of colours you can choice from but the most common colours are ‘Warm White’ or ‘Cool White’.

The below chart indicates the ‘Kelvins’ needed to give the LED colour required.

Kelvin

How bright are LED bulbs?

LED bulbs available for standard fixtures vary in brightness from less than 50 lumens up to about 1200 lumens.

What is the life expectancy of LED lighting?

A traditional 50W halogen lamp has a life expectancy of 3,000-5,000 hours. After 3,000 hours an average of 50% of lamps would have failed.

T5/T8 LED tubes have an average life to 70% lumen maintenance of 40,000 hours.
The average lamp life for T4 & T5 is approximately 5,000 hours.
Fireguard LED = 75,000 hours of life expectancy.

How efficient is LED lighting?

LED is a highly energy efficient lighting technology, and has the potential to fundamentally change the future of lighting. ENERGY STAR rated products use up to 70% less energy and last 3 times longer than fluorescent lighting.

Local Energy Assessors

Who are my local Energy Assessors to carry out Energy Performance Certificates?

We recommend the following to carry out your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC):

Green House Assessors
07793 889105
www.greenhouseassessors.co.uk

We recommend the following Green Deal Assessors:

Rob Thompson
07766953184

Tony Wyatt

Planning Permission

Do I need Planning Permission?

Please visit the Planning Portal Website where you can find planning and building regulations guidance for many common building work projects.

www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission

 

Renewable

Can a wood pellet boiler replace oil, LPG and electricity?

Biomass boilers are the ideal replacement technology for oil, LPG and electricity. By installing a biomass boiler, your heating costs and CO2 emissions will be reduced. With the Governments RHI, you will turn your heating costs into a heating income.

What is a Biomass boiler

Biomass boilers can deliver water temperatures up to 85°C, making them an ideal replacement for inefficient and ageing Oil, LPG and electrically fired boilers.

Biomass boilers are most commonly used in conjunction with radiators, under-floor heating and hot water

Austria is the home of biomass/pellet heating, boilers manufactured here are considered to be amongst the most reliable and efficient.

Please click here to view our video answering some frequently asked questions regarding running a biomass boiler and wood pellet fuel.

How does a Biomass boiler work?

They are usually fed automatically with wood chips or pellets from a store on site. If you have the space, we would recommend installing a store that can hold a year’s supply of fuel. This minimises transport and delivery costs for fuel, as well as ensuring there is plenty of fuel to cover the colder months without risking running low.

If you have a small heating requirement, then you may feel it acceptable to fill your boiler by hand, this saves you on space and will greatly reduce the upfront installation costs. Pellets come in 10 or 15kg bags and there is only a slight uplift in pricing for delivery this way. We have a hand-fill biomass boiler in our showroom, please feel free to come in for a full demonstration.

Maintenance is minimal, requiring only basic monthly user checks and an annual engineering service and clean-out. Depending on the heating season and usage you will need to empty any ash from the pellets, this happens once every 6 to 12 months and is a quick process as most of our boilers come fitted with an automatic ash box.

Please click here to view our video answering some frequently asked questions regarding running a biomass boiler and wood pellet fuel.

What fuel does a Biomass boiler use

Almost all biomass materials can be burned in biomass boilers, but the majority of the systems we install operate
on wood chips or wood pellets.

On a small scale almost any biomass material can be burned in a batch fed boiler including straw, wood offcuts, waste wood, and logs. It should be noted that the burning of waste wood and offcuts may be subject to the Waste Incineration Directive which prohibits the burning of materials contaminated by heavy metals (e.g. lead based paint) and halogenated organic compounds (e.g. some pesticides, sheep dip and similar materials).

We use a wood pellet boiler in our showroom for our under-floor heating and we are always happy for you to pop in and see how easy it is to live with.

Please click here to view our video answering some frequently asked questions regarding running a biomass boiler and wood pellet fuel.

Who are my local wood-pellet suppliers?

Wood pellets are readily available throughout the UK. We recommend Forever Fuels as local suppliers.

They are a leading specialist supplier of top quality (ENplus A1) virgin-fibre wood pellets, located in Newmarket, Suffolk. Please click here to see further details.

ENPlus Certification

The ENplus quality certification is a step towards establishing pellets as a widely used energy commodity. National standards and certifications are replaced by one uniform system based on the EN 14961-2 standard for wood pellets. In January 2012 the system was agreed upon by the European Pellet Council and enjoys the support of large parts of the European pellet sector.

From Spring 2015, if you are in the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Scheme or looking to install a boiler and receive the RHI funding, you will need buy your fuel from suppliers who are on the Biomass Suppliers List (biomass-suppliers-list.service.gov.uk). You will also need to keep receipts to prove where you have purchased your fuel from.

 Do Biomass Boilers give off pollution? 

Eco Installer follow strict rules when designing wood burning flues. This ensures that any domestic property near the system is safe from harm. The biomass boiler produces many fewer parts per million than a log burner.

Are wood pellets easy to get hold of?

Yes. Wood pellets are available from a number of manufacturers and specialists suppliers throughout the UK. Wood pellets can be bought in bags of varying sizes or delivered in bulk by tanker.

What type of wood burner do I need?

When our Engineers carry out a site survey, they will consider the size of the room the burner will go in to, the insulation of the home, the type of flue, the type of fuel you wish to burn, they style you prefer and your budget. This information will help our engineer suggest the type of burner required

How often should I have my chimney swept?

Chimneys need to allow the free passage of dangerous combustion gasses. Regular sweeping will remove soot and other blockages such as bird nests. It also removes creosote, helping to prevent dangerous chimney fires. We recommend having your chimney Swept yearly which will also increase the efficiency of some appliances.

How should I store my wood?

When considering a wood burner, it is sensible to think about where you will store your wood supply. Customers tend to have dedicated log sheds which can be brought from many outlets. Ideally you should burn well seasoned wood in order to get the best results.

What types of heat pump are available?

We are MCS approved to install Air Source, Ground Source and Exhaust Air Heat Pumps.

An Air Source heat pump (ASHP) is the least expensive heat pump to install and is perfect for low energy heating and hot water in a modern built energy efficient home.

An ASHP extracts ‘free’ energy from the environment and transfer it to heating and hot water through a reverse refrigeration process.

ASHPs can operate with outside temperatures as low as -20C and they can deliver temperatures as high as 65C, which is useful for existing radiators and hot water generation.

Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP) extract ‘free’ energy from ground collector loops, these loops are either drilled vertically by specialist bore-hole companies or spread-out over the available land space horizontally and below the local frost level.

A GSHP installation is more expensive when compared to ASHP but they can benefit from lower running costs, although this argument is less strong these days now that ASHP technology has advanced.

An Exhaust Air Heat Pump (EXAHP) captures energy that otherwise would have been wasted as part of the process of ventilating or cooling a building.

An excellent application for and EXAHP would be taking excess heat from a kitchen where it is not wanted and returning this as hot water that is always needed.

What is the Renewable Heat Incentive?

The renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a tax-free and index-linked payment for a fixed 7 year (domestic) or 20 year period (non-domestic), to encourage the uptake of renewable energy as a replacement for fossil fuel heating.

By driving change in a heat sector currently dominated by fossil fuel technologies, the RHI can help the UK meet EU targets to reduce carbon emissions and improve energy security. In addition Renewable energy provided 6.5 million jobs in 2013.

The Renewable Heat Incentive is is administered by Ofgem.

What are the home-owners responsibilities for the RHI?

OFGEM list the 6 responsibilities of a home-owner as part of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. Please note OFGEM can withhold payments if they believe someone isn’t complying with the scheme rules.

Please click here to visit the OFGEM website

How long will the scheme last for?

Once you have been accepted on the RHI scheme you are guaranteed financial support for 7 years if your installation is domestic and 20 years if your installation is for non-domestic usage e.g. commercial, district heating and industrial.

Although the domestic scheme only pays over 7 years it is not a worse deal as you will receive the equivalent of 20 years payments over the period

Would mine be a domestic or a non-domestic installation?

Domestic premises are defined in the Regulations as ‘single, self contained premises used wholly or mainly as a private residential dwelling where the fabric of the building has not been significantly adapted for non-residential use.’

The eligibility of premises is taken into account by the way in which they are classified for ratings purposes. For example, the regulators will consider premises to be single domestic based on whether that premises is treated as a separate and self-contained premises for council tax banding purposes.

If you have a district heating system for multiple domestic premises, you would be able to apply under the non-domestic RHI as long as there are more than one premises which are served by the heating system.

If you property is rated commercial or industrial then you will qualify as non-domestic. For all other situations like community, farming, process heating etc. please call the office for the latest expert advice.

Do I need a MCS accredited technology and installer?

You will require Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) certified installer if your installation is 45kW capacity or less and is one of the following technologies:

– Ground Source Heat Pump
– Air to Water Source Heat Pumps
– Biomass boiler
– Solar Thermal

Our team is fully MCS qualified and can help with any of your MCS questions, if you would like to confirm our qualifications please visit www.microgenerationcertification.org for the latest information.

What are the objects of the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme?

The main objective of the scheme is to increase the up take of renewable heating systems to reduce energy bills, lover carbon emissions and reduce the dependency on fossil fuels.

At the moment, around 80% of domestic heating is provided by some 18-20 million gas boilers.

What technologies are covered under the Renewable Heat Incentive?

The eligible heating system technologies are as follows:

– Biomass boilers and biomass pellet stoves
– Air source heat pumps
– Ground (and water) source heat pumps
– Solar thermal panels

What are the current non-domestic renewable tariffs?

You will be paid for per kilowatt (kWH) of renewable energy used.

The non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) tariffs from July – 30th September 2017 are as follows:

– Solar thermal – 10.44p per kWh
– Air source heat pump – 2.61p per kWh
– Biomass – 2.71p per kWh
– Ground source heat pump – 9.09p per kWh

The Feed-in Tariff (FiT) for both domestic and non-domestic installations are:

– Solar Photovoltaic (PV) – under 10kW 4.07p per kWh

– Solar Photovoltaic (PV) – 10kW – 50kW 4.39p per kWh

– Stand-alone Solar Photovoltaic (PV) – 1.99p per kWh

Tariffs are tax free and index linked

When should legacy applicants apply?

If you had an eligible renewable heating system installed between 15th July 2009 and 8th April 2014, you are counted as an ‘legacy’ applicants. Installs must have met the MCS standards that applied at the time of installation.

Applicants for legacy payments must be made by 9th April 2015

How do I apply for RHI payments?

Please visit the Ofgem website: www.ofgem.gov.uk to apply. You will need the MCS installation certificate number, Energy Performance Certificate number and Green Deal Report number.

How does a Solar Panel work?

Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, capture the sun’s energy using photovoltaic cells.
These cells don’t need direct sunlight to work – they can still generate some electricity even on a cloudy day.
The cells convert sunlight into direct current (DC) power, which in turn is converted to alternating current (AC) power by the Solar Inverter so that household appliances and lighting can make use of it.

What are the benefits of Solar Panels?

They will reduce your electricity bills: sunlight is free, so once you’ve paid for the initial installation your electricity costs will be reduced as you will need to purchase less from the grid.

You will get paid for the electricity you generate: the government’s Feed-In Tariff pays for the
electricity generated, even if you use it all.

You automatically sell any spare electricity back to the grid: if your system is producing more electricity than you need, or when you can’t use it, you sell the surplus back to the grid.

You will reduce your home’s carbon footprint: solar electricity is a green, renewable energy and doesn’t release any harmful carbon dioxide or other pollutants. A typical home solar PV system could save over a tonne of carbon dioxide per year – that’s more than 30 tonnes over its lifetime.

What are the general costs as a guide?

The average domestic solar PV system is 3.5 to 4kWp and costs around £7,000 (including VAT at
5%), with the typical cost ranging from £5,500 to £9,500.

Is it worth investing in Solar Panels?

The ‘Energy Saving Trust’ estimates that the installation of solar PV panels on your roof will give you a tax-free return of around 12-15%, which sounds much more attractive than most savings accounts or retirement funds. This depends on the suitability of your home and roof, the number of panels you have fitted and how effectively they work. As an example, if you have a 4kw system installed (16 panels), installed on a property then you could save up to £15.5k over 20 years in electricity bills.

The Government have introduced the Feed-In Tariff which allows owners to receive a fixed rate for electricity generated annually and for any unused electricity exported back to the grid. You can enjoy a steady income for over a 20 year period with Solar PV

What properties are best suited to Solar PV panels?

The ideal home for solar PV panels is an unshaded south facing – facing or +/- 90 degrees of South – with a medium to large roof that does not have any features such as loft conversion and sky light windows that limit the space available.

We carry out a full assessment with all our Renewable project and will discuss the results with you

How much can I earn from installing solar panels?

Solar Energy Calculator:

The Solar Energy Calculator estimates the savings you could make by installing a solar PV system and the payment you could receive from the domestic Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme for eligible PV installations of up to 4kWp including new build.

Please click here to view the possible savings on your own home.

How does Solar Thermal work?

Solar water heating systems use solar panels, sometimes called collectors, fitted in or on top of your existing roof covering. These collect heat from the sun and transfer this ‘free’ energy via a refrigeration circuit and heat exchanger to hot water that is stored in a hot water cylinder. It is possible to retro-fit a solar thermal system to work with an existing boiler or immersion heater, although we would usually recommend at the least a cylinder upgrade

Does the system only work in Summer?

The system works all year round, though you’ll need to heat the water further with a boiler or
immersion heater during the winter months.

What are the general costs as a guide?

The cost of installing a typical solar water heating system is around £4,800 (including VAT at 5%).
Savings are moderate – the system could provide most of your hot water in the summer, but much
less during colder weather.

Does the Government support Solar Thermals?

Yes they do and you may be able to receive payments for the heat you generate from a solar
water heating system through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive.

The Green Deal

The government has decided to stop funding the Green Deal Finance Company (GDFC). The GDFC was set up to lend money to Green Deal providers.

Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

What is the Renewable Heat Incentive?

The renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a tax-free and index-linked payment for a fixed 7 year (domestic) or 20 year period (non-domestic), to encourage the uptake of renewable energy as a replacement for fossil fuel heating.

By driving change in a heat sector currently dominated by fossil fuel technologies, the RHI can help the UK meet EU targets to reduce carbon emissions and improve energy security. In addition Renewable energy provided 6.5 million jobs in 2013.

The Renewable Heat Incentive is is administered by Ofgem.

What are the home-owners responsibilities for the RHI?

OFGEM list the 6 responsibilities of a home-owner as part of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. Please note OFGEM can withhold payments if they believe someone isn’t complying with the scheme rules.

Please click here to visit the OFGEM website

How long will the scheme last for?

Once you have been accepted on the RHI scheme you are guaranteed financial support for 7 years if your installation is domestic and 20 years if your installation is for non-domestic usage e.g. commercial, district heating and industrial.

Although the domestic scheme only pays over 7 years it is not a worse deal as you will receive the equivalent of 20 years payments over the period

Would mine be a domestic or a non-domestic installation?

Domestic premises are defined in the Regulations as ‘single, self contained premises used wholly or mainly as a private residential dwelling where the fabric of the building has not been significantly adapted for non-residential use.’

The eligibility of premises is taken into account by the way in which they are classified for ratings purposes. For example, the regulators will consider premises to be single domestic based on whether that premises is treated as a separate and self-contained premises for council tax banding purposes.

If you have a district heating system for multiple domestic premises, you would be able to apply under the non-domestic RHI as long as there are more than one premises which are served by the heating system.

If you property is rated commercial or industrial then you will qualify as non-domestic. For all other situations like community, farming, process heating etc. please call the office for the latest expert advice.

Do I need a MCS accredited technology and installer?

You will require Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) certified installer if your installation is 45kW capacity or less and is one of the following technologies:

– Ground Source Heat Pump
– Air to Water Source Heat Pumps
– Biomass boiler
– Solar Thermal

Our team is fully MCS qualified and can help with any of your MCS questions, if you would like to confirm our qualifications please visit www.microgenerationcertification.org for the latest information.

What are the objects of the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme?

The main objective of the scheme is to increase the up take of renewable heating systems to reduce energy bills, lover carbon emissions and reduce the dependency on fossil fuels.

At the moment, around 80% of domestic heating is provided by some 18-20 million gas boilers.

What technologies are covered under the Renewable Heat Incentive?

The eligible heating system technologies are as follows:

– Biomass boilers and biomass pellet stoves
– Air source heat pumps
– Ground (and water) source heat pumps
– Solar thermal panels

What are the current non-domestic renewable tariffs?

You will be paid for per kilowatt (kWH) of renewable energy used.

The non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) tariffs from July – 30th September 2017 are as follows:

– Solar thermal – 10.44p per kWh
– Air source heat pump – 2.61p per kWh
– Biomass – 2.71p per kWh
– Ground source heat pump – 9.09p per kWh

The Feed-in Tariff (FiT) for both domestic and non-domestic installations are:

– Solar Photovoltaic (PV) – under 10kW 4.07p per kWh

– Solar Photovoltaic (PV) – 10kW – 50kW 4.39p per kWh

– Stand-alone Solar Photovoltaic (PV) – 1.99p per kWh

Tariffs are tax free and index linked

When should legacy applicants apply?

If you had an eligible renewable heating system installed between 15th July 2009 and 8th April 2014, you are counted as an ‘legacy’ applicants. Installs must have met the MCS standards that applied at the time of installation.

Applicants for legacy payments must be made by 9th April 2015

How do I apply for RHI payments?

Please visit the Ofgem website: www.ofgem.gov.uk to apply. You will need the MCS installation certificate number, Energy Performance Certificate number and Green Deal Report number.

Solar Panel

How does a Solar Panel work?

Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, capture the sun’s energy using photovoltaic cells.
These cells don’t need direct sunlight to work – they can still generate some electricity even on a cloudy day.
The cells convert sunlight into direct current (DC) power, which in turn is converted to alternating current (AC) power by the Solar Inverter so that household appliances and lighting can make use of it.

What are the benefits of Solar Panels?

They will reduce your electricity bills: sunlight is free, so once you’ve paid for the initial installation your electricity costs will be reduced as you will need to purchase less from the grid.

You will get paid for the electricity you generate: the government’s Feed-In Tariff pays for the
electricity generated, even if you use it all.

You automatically sell any spare electricity back to the grid: if your system is producing more electricity than you need, or when you can’t use it, you sell the surplus back to the grid.

You will reduce your home’s carbon footprint: solar electricity is a green, renewable energy and doesn’t release any harmful carbon dioxide or other pollutants. A typical home solar PV system could save over a tonne of carbon dioxide per year – that’s more than 30 tonnes over its lifetime.

What are the general costs as a guide?

The average domestic solar PV system is 3.5 to 4kWp and costs around £7,000 (including VAT at
5%), with the typical cost ranging from £5,500 to £9,500.

Is it worth investing in Solar Panels?

The ‘Energy Saving Trust’ estimates that the installation of solar PV panels on your roof will give you a tax-free return of around 12-15%, which sounds much more attractive than most savings accounts or retirement funds. This depends on the suitability of your home and roof, the number of panels you have fitted and how effectively they work. As an example, if you have a 4kw system installed (16 panels), installed on a property then you could save up to £15.5k over 20 years in electricity bills.

The Government have introduced the Feed-In Tariff which allows owners to receive a fixed rate for electricity generated annually and for any unused electricity exported back to the grid. You can enjoy a steady income for over a 20 year period with Solar PV

What properties are best suited to Solar PV panels?

The ideal home for solar PV panels is an unshaded south facing – facing or +/- 90 degrees of South – with a medium to large roof that does not have any features such as loft conversion and sky light windows that limit the space available.

We carry out a full assessment with all our Renewable project and will discuss the results with you

How much can I earn from installing solar panels?

Solar Energy Calculator:

The Solar Energy Calculator estimates the savings you could make by installing a solar PV system and the payment you could receive from the domestic Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme for eligible PV installations of up to 4kWp including new build.

Please click here to view the possible savings on your own home.

Solar Thermal

How does Solar Thermal work?

Solar water heating systems use solar panels, sometimes called collectors, fitted in or on top of your existing roof covering. These collect heat from the sun and transfer this ‘free’ energy via a refrigeration circuit and heat exchanger to hot water that is stored in a hot water cylinder. It is possible to retro-fit a solar thermal system to work with an existing boiler or immersion heater, although we would usually recommend at the least a cylinder upgrade

Does the system only work in Summer?

The system works all year round, though you’ll need to heat the water further with a boiler or
immersion heater during the winter months.

What are the general costs as a guide?

The cost of installing a typical solar water heating system is around £4,800 (including VAT at 5%).
Savings are moderate – the system could provide most of your hot water in the summer, but much
less during colder weather.

Does the Government support Solar Thermals?

Yes they do and you may be able to receive payments for the heat you generate from a solar
water heating system through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive.

Wood Burner

What type of wood burner do I need?

When our Engineers carry out a site survey, they will consider the size of the room the burner will go in to, the insulation of the home, the type of flue, the type of fuel you wish to burn, they style you prefer and your budget. This information will help our engineer suggest the type of burner required

How often should I have my chimney swept?

Chimneys need to allow the free passage of dangerous combustion gasses. Regular sweeping will remove soot and other blockages such as bird nests. It also removes creosote, helping to prevent dangerous chimney fires. We recommend having your chimney Swept yearly which will also increase the efficiency of some appliances.

How should I store my wood?

When considering a wood burner, it is sensible to think about where you will store your wood supply. Customers tend to have dedicated log sheds which can be brought from many outlets. Ideally you should burn well seasoned wood in order to get the best results.

Wood Pellets

Who are my local wood-pellet suppliers?

Wood pellets are readily available throughout the UK. We recommend Forever Fuels as local suppliers.

They are a leading specialist supplier of top quality (ENplus A1) virgin-fibre wood pellets, located in Newmarket, Suffolk. Please click here to see further details.

ENPlus Certification

The ENplus quality certification is a step towards establishing pellets as a widely used energy commodity. National standards and certifications are replaced by one uniform system based on the EN 14961-2 standard for wood pellets. In January 2012 the system was agreed upon by the European Pellet Council and enjoys the support of large parts of the European pellet sector.

From Spring 2015, if you are in the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Scheme or looking to install a boiler and receive the RHI funding, you will need buy your fuel from suppliers who are on the Biomass Suppliers List (biomass-suppliers-list.service.gov.uk). You will also need to keep receipts to prove where you have purchased your fuel from.

What are pellets?

Wood pellets are cylindrical pellets made of dry, natural wood waste (sawdust and shavings) with a diameter of 5-6 mm and a length of 10-25 mm. They are compressed under high pressure (without chemical binders) and have an extremely low water content. Wood pellets are supplied in kilograms.
1m³ of pellets weighs 650 kg.
As a comparison:
2.12kg pellets ……………….approx. 1 litre of oil
1 m³ pellets ………………….approx. 320 litres of oil

What is the calorific value of pellets?

The calorific value is standardised at 4.9 kWh/kg. Quality is important! For optimal functioning of your pellet heating system use only pellets which comply with Ö-norm or DIN-plus standards.

How does the calorific value of pellets compare with oil and gas?

The calorific value of one litre of extra light oil amounts to 10 kWh, as does the calorific value of 1m³ of gas. It is therefore true that: 2kg pellets ~ 1 litre extra light oil ~ 1m³ gas. In terms of price pellets do significantly better than oil and LPG

How long can pellets be stored?

In dry conditions pellets can be stored indefinitely. Attention: if pellets come into contact with water or damp they will expand and be destroyed.

Where do I get the pellets and where are they stored?

Wood pellets are an indigenous resource and therefore a regionally available energy source. A small network of manufacturers and suppliers can supply a large area. The pellets are delivered by tanker truck, from which they are blown into the pellet store or tank. Unlike oil, pellets do not have an unpleasant smell. Pellets can be stored in dry storage rooms or purpose-built silo bags. The best storage system will depend on the building type, but an especially cost-efficient option is the OkoFEN FleXILO, which maximises all the available floor space. The Flexi-Tank can be installed in the boiler room, in an adjacent building or outdoors (if placed outdoors, the FleXILO must be protected against rain and UV-light).

Pellet delivery

Why wood pellets? Does burning wood not generate pollution?

It is true that the combustion of wood fuel releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. However, the amount of carbon dioxide released is only equal to the amount which was absorbed as the tree grew prior to felling. Unlike fossil fuels which are not being replaced as we burn them, wood fuel is an infinitely renewable resource: provided we replant as many trees as we fell, there will always be a supply of fuel and it will never provide a net increase in carbon dioxide levels.

Of course, a small amount of additional energy is required to harvest, process and transport wood pellets. At present, electricity is used for the production process and petrol or diesel for transport. However, being an indigenous fuel the distance which wood pellets are transported is far less than the distance oil travels to reach us, and the amount of energy used in the production of wood pellets is significantly less than that used to refine crude oil. Overall, when burnt efficiently and cleanly as it is in an Ökofen system, wood fuel is as renewable an energy source as you can get.

Can I replace my gas or oil boiler with a wood pellet boiler?

Yes you can provided that you have enough space. A wood pellet boiler is as automated and easy to use as a gas or oil boiler and can also supply a similar heat output. It is important to note that these are boiler heating systems, not kitchen appliances.

Does the automatic wood pellet boiler have to run continuously?

An automatic wood pellet boiler does not need to run continuously. The boiler is fully automatic, and indeed has complete electronic control over the entire heating system. It will match the heating requirements by modulating (i.e. running at less than full capacity, something which wood pellet boilers do extremely efficiently unlike many wood chip or log boilers), and by cycling (i.e. running to a timetable or shutting down when there is no demand for heating). Of course, being fully automatic, the boiler re-ignites itself electronically whenever heat is required meaning that the building occupant need know nothing about the boiler and its controls.

Can I use my current radiators and plumbing?

Yes, provided they are in good condition and were originally designed to be of a suitable size and specification for your building. And if your current radiators are in poor condition or are unsuitably sized for the heat load, they will prove to be inefficient with whatever heating system you use, so are better replaced in any case.