Solar power installation

K-SET trustee Roger Bush reports that his photovoltaic installation (by Sunrise Solar of Ambleside) began operation on 20th January 2012. By 20th January 2013 it had generated over 3,000 kWh of electricity from sunlight (the panels work on cloudy days as well) and 2012 wasn't exactly a good year for sunshine! At a cost of £13,790 and the Feed-in Tariff in 2012 of 47p per kWh (tax-free, index-linked and payable for 25 years, even on electricity generated and consumed in the house), Roger expects the installation to recoup its costs within 7 years. With the current, reduced Feed-in Tariffs, similar installations would take longer to pay for themselves but on the other hand, the cost of solar panels and installation has reduced dramatically. Roger also estimates that his consumption of electricity from the National Grid has halved even though he heats his water with an electric immersion heater now instead of oil, powered almost entirely by the solar panels.

Green Deal

The Department of Energy and Climate Change Green Deal is now in operation and is essentially a very cheap loan scheme to pay for energy-saving measures which will make the UK more energy efficient.

Firstly, our homes suffer from a shocking amount of heat loss. Secondly, Britain has ambitious targets for cutting carbon emissions and the Green Deal is an important part of meeting these targets. The cost is absorbed into your future energy bills and consequently paid back over time. An estimated 26 million homes could be eligible for Green Deal financing.

If you want to replace your boiler, for instance, with a more energy-efficient model, or want to install draught-proofing or loft and wall insulation you can do so using a Green Deal loan.