Frequently Asked Questions



PRACTICAL RENEWABLE ENERGY

How to design and implement your own renewable energy systems in the real world.

Customers often ask us to advise them what renewable systems they require, such as how many solar tubes they need to provide their hot water. It is important to realise that as well as the differing environmental factors that may apply to a particular site, there are also personal considerations that need to be taken into account.

If the following text does not answer your question, please call 01678 530445 or contact us here with your queries.


Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS)

www.microgenerationcertification.org

Supported by the Department of Energy & Climate Change

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) is an independent certfication scheme designed to ensure microgeneration products and installers consistently meet strict European technical standards.

MCS is designed to raise standards.

The MCS is designed to raise standards, protect the consumers and offer information through the certification award. All MCS accredited installers and product manufacturers will have undergone an in-depth assessment and be given strict quality control and consumer guidelines to follow. All MCS installers also have to be members of REAL (Renewable Energy Assurance Limited) and follow their consumer code which is backed by the Office of Fair Trading.

For FITs and RHIs your installer must be MCS approved.

Your renewable energy system installer must be MCS accredited for you to take advantage of the various renewable energy incentives (RHIs and FITs).

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Generation tariff

Your energy supplier will pay you a set rate for each unit (or kWh) of electricity you generate - known as the Feed-in Tariff. Once your system has been registered, the tariff levels are guaranteed for the period of the tariff and are index-linked. See our Pay Back page for tariff rates and duration along with more information.

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Export tariff

You will get a further set rate payment from your energy supplier for each unit (or kWh) you export back to the electricity grid. So you can sell any electricity you generate which you don't use yourself. This rate is the same for all electricity-generating technologies. At some stage smart meters will be installed to measure what you export, but until then it is estimated as being 50% of the electricity you generate. Currently if your solar PV system is less than 30kWp you do not need to have an export meter fitted.

Currently the export rate is set at 4.5p per kWh for 50% of the generated electricity.

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EPC Certificates

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) give information on how to make your home more energy efficient and reduce your energy costs. All homes bought, sold or rented require an EPC and from April 2012. You will need an EPC of D or above to receive the higher rate of Feed-in tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive.


The Green Deal

www.decc.gov.uk/

In October 2012 the government will be bringing in the 'Green deal'. It is part of the Energy Act 2011, which intends to reduce carbon emissions in a cost effective way.

The Government is establishing a framework to enable private firms to offer consumers energy efficiency improvements to their homes, community spaces and businesses at no upfront cost, then recoup payment by instalments through a charge in the energy bill. It also means that if they move out and cease to be the bill-payer at that property, the financial obligation doesn't move with them but moves to the next bill payer. There is still some confusion within the industry as to how this will be integrated but check our latest news for any updates or follow us on twitter.

Why is the Green Deal needed?

At a local level, the Green Deal will enable many households and businesses to improve the energy efficiency of their properties without consuming so much energy and wasting so much money.

A quarter of the UK's carbon emissions comes from the energy used in homes and a similar amount comes from our businesses, industry and workplaces. At a national level, the UK needs to become more energy efficient to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, which risk dangerous climate change.

The Climate Change Act 2008 legislated for a reduction in our carbon emissions and set legally-binding carbon budgets across all sectors of the UK economy — including our homes and communities, and our workplaces.

Information taken from the DECC website.

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Planning Permission - is it needed?

Since 2008, for most cases planning permission is not required if solar panels are fixed to the roof of a single dwelling house.

The following apply to roof and wall mounted solar panels:

Panels should not be installed above the ridge line and should project no more than 200mm from the roof or wall surface.

If the property is a Listed Building, installation is likely to require an application for listed building consent, even where planning permission is not needed.

If the property is in a World heritage Site, planning consent is required when panels are to be fitted on the principal or side elevation walls and they are visible from the highway. If panels are to be fitted to a building in your garden or grounds, they should not be visible from the highway.

All solar installations are also subject to the following:

Panels on a building should be sited to minimise the effect on the appearance of the building.

Solar Panels should be sited in order to minimise the effect on the amenity of the area.

Where panels are no longer required for microgeneration, they should be removed as soon as possible.

Is Planning Permission required for Air Source Heat Pumps?

Air source heat pump installations in Wales and Northern Ireland require planning permission. In England and Scotland they may be considered Permitted Development, in which case you will not need planning permission, but the criteria are complex so it is always a good idea to check with your local planning office.

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Logic

www.logiccertification.com

Logic provides certificate courses in the traditional areas of Gas ACS, Oftec Oil and Part P, and in addition has developed industry leading training assessment packages for the renewables industry including Solar Thermal Hot Water, Ground and Air Source Heat Pumps and Solar Photovoltaic.

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Navitron

www.navitron.org.uk

Founded at the beginning of 2004, Navitron supplies good quality, low-priced renewable energy systems - proving that renewable power need not cost the earth. They supply all types of renewable energy - such as evacuated tube solar collectors, solar photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, water turbines, back up power generators, woodstoves and heat pumps.

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RECC

www.recc.org.uk

The RECC Assurance Scheme was set up by the Renewable Energy Association. Their aim is to guarantee a high quality experience for consumers wishing to buy or lease small-scale energy generation systems for their homes. The RECC logo is a sign that the company has agreed to abide by the high standards set out in our Consumer Code.

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NAPIT

www.napit.org.uk

NAPIT Certification operates a UKAS accredited scheme which allows certification of installers under the MCS. By providing combined access to MCS Approval and Building Regulations self-certification, NAPIT provides a complete solution for the microgeneration installer.

NAPIT is one of the largest MCS Certification Bodies and have several years of experience of delivering pragmatic assessments for Competent Person Schemes.

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Mitsubishi Electric’s Partners

Mitsubishi Electric are leading manufacturers of air conditioning and renewable solutions specifically designed to meet the energy demands of today and beyond. The Mitsubishi Electric Partner Programme has been devised to forge a link with partners within the industry to ensure customers receive the highest level of installation and after sales care.

As one of Mitsubishi Electric’s Partners, we adhere to the strict criteria set out by the Partner Programme to ensure our customers receive a professional service on which they can rely.

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