posted by Gordon Glass on 01 January 2007
tags: solar ,
Climate change has climbed the agenda. Buildings are now being rated for energy efficiency and CO2 emissions. Some new homes are appearing with renewable energy systems built in.
But is now really the time to go solar?
“Only if you’ve taken care of the basics”, say the experts. Proven systems can provide hot water or electricity. However, insulating your home and switching to a 100% green electricity tariff may be quicker ways to help the planet.
You won’t get a government grant to go solar if you haven’t first insulated your home. This makes sense. The initial capital cost of insulation can usually be recouped from energy savings within 3 years, rather than 10 – 50 years for a renewable energy system.
Productive renewable energy systems are sited in the optimum location. The best are integrated so that any surplus energy generated can be sold or stored. If you do not have a south facing pitched roof, your home may not be suitable for solar hot water or electricity generation.
Always seek independent advice before your purchase. Solar water heating, for example, will not reduce your space heating bill. It will reduce your water heating bill - which represents around 15% of your overall space and water heating costs.
The Energy Saving Trust offers free, impartial advice and details of grants towards both insulation and renewable energy systems. Call free on 0800 512 012.
Cocoon is operated by United Sustainable Energy Agency - a not for profit company. Registered in England No. 3553525.