Saturday, 13 March 2010

I join the 'Energy Generating Democracy'!

So at last our solar is installed! We have 1.3kWp of PV and a large solar thermal system feeding into a thermal store which will also be able to have heat input from a wood burning back boiler, the gas boiler and if we really need it an immersion heater. I really want to put the switch to the immersion heater in one of those glass fronted boxes saying, 'smash glass in emergency'.

In financial terms it will cost us a couple of grand with £10k of the costs covered by Kirklees Council's RE-Charge scheme and £2.5k by the now defunct Low Carbon Buildings Programme PV grant. Very roughly we will get a minimum of £400/year from the Clean Energy Cashback for 25 years another £400/year from the Renewable Heat Incentive and a minimum of £200/year fuel savings. So I estimate a very conservative financial benefit of £1000/year. I am sure George Monbiot would be foaming at the mouth if he was reading this now.

We get a couple of displays showing how much energy is being produced from each set of panels. It is quite a liberating feeling. I know one of my principal energy suppliers is 93 million miles away but I feel a much greater affinity with it than the earthbound energy companies. I guess it is because the sun never sends me any bills and 0p/kWh is by far my favorite tarrif! I do wonder if anyone has actually done any research into the psychological impact of having solar panels? It has to be positive. Being a producer of energy as well as a consumer. A feeling of control over your own energy, less dependence on big energy suppliers and the inevitable rise in fuel bills. Yup I'm feeling pretty positive.

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