Getting started with renewables

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

Our sustainability team can advise you further on these steps if you would like. Please call us on 01529 414155.