Renewable energy choices

Generating energy from renewable and low carbon sources makes use of secure, local resources and reduces the dependence on non-renewable energy. This helps to reduce the production of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as well as supporting the renewable energy industry.

The technology for generating heat and electricity from renewable sources is changing rapidly. We can get you started with renewable technology to help understand the process to follow.

For different types of technologies there may be grants and incentive payments available. To find out more about the different technologies available and which is right for you please go to the Energy Saving Trust website to get started. There are also details of any incentive payments that may be available depending on which technology you choice.

There is a solar energy calculator and wind speed prediction toolavailable on the Energy Saving Trust website that work out how much you can benefit from these technologies.

When looking for an installer we strongly recommend you get at least three quotes from different companies. To ensure the works you have done are eligible for any incentive payments, always check any company you use is compliant and fully registered with the required schemes.

Getting started with renewable energy

If you are considering installing renewable technology for your home, business premises, or on a community building, we recommend you complete these 5 steps:

  1. Do a feasibility study. By considering your current patterns of energy use, your needs, your construction, and location an installer should be able to advise what technology - or combination - is most appropriate for you. An installation quote should indicate what kind of return you can expect on any investment. We always recommend you get 3 quotes from different companies to compare prices and service.
  2. Get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). An EPC indicates the energy efficiency of your building and makes recommendations for improving it. These could include things like draught-proofing, adding insulation and installing renewable technologies. Many renewable installers are beginning to offer this service upfront as the level of Feed in Tariff payments for solar PV is significantly higher for buildings with an EPC level D or higher. Good insulation is also a condition for receiving Renewable Heat Incentives Payments. Based on your EPC you will be able to estimate the costs and returns associated with recommended improvements to your building and make an informed decision about whether you would like to go ahead with any investment.
  3. Contact our NKDC planning team before you sign any contract. Much renewable installation is what is called ‘permitted development’ but this is dependent upon factors affecting individual properties. We recommend that you complete an enquiry form and get written confirmation from the team about whether or not further permission is needed. This initial response is a free service for residents. If you need to make a planning application then this will further add to your costs and timeline but we recommend you proceed with any installation only when you have written permission from the Planning Office.
  4. Commission your work.
  5. Maximise your EPC rating and apply for FIT. Once you have completed your installation, ensure that all recommended improvements are complete and that you have as high an EPC rating as you can get before applying for your FIT. Making improvements later on will not alter the rate at which your payments are made.

Call 01529 414155 for advice from our sustainability team.