Monday, February 15, 2010

It Pays to Produce Your Own Electricity

The government has recently announced that those people who produce their own electricity will be paid for doing so. The scheme is know under the name of “Feed in Tariffs” or FiT.
Some details are:
· The Feed-in Tariff makes installing micro generation much more financially attractive -it should be possible to finance the costs with a bank loan, with the income from the Feed-in Tariff helping to cover your repayments.
· Payments will be inflation-linked for all generators and tax-free for domestic properties.
· Payments are guaranteed for 20 to 25 years, depending on the technology.
· For small generators, the FiT will be paid for their total generation, including the units they use themselves.
For example - a household with a 2kW solar pv system
Installation cost: £10,500 (subject to survey)
Income (including savings made on electricity bill):£870 a year
Return on Investment 8%, payback period 12 years.
For example - a household with a 6kW wind turbine
Installation cost: £24,000 (subject to survey)
Income (including savings made on electricity bill): £2,700 a year
Return on Investment 12%, payback period 9 years
· Households should not consider installing any micro-generation technology until they have first addressed the energy-efficiency of their property.
· Technology must be appropriate for the situation - for example solar pv works best on a south-facing roof, and there is no point installing a wind turbine unless you live in a windy place.
· The scheme only applies to installations fitted after 15th July 2009 and even those get a lower rate per unit than brand new projects.
· Good Energy however will pay most people 15p a unit regardless when it was installed and can help with every stage of the process, from choosing the right technology to finding a grant to getting paid your FiT - visit to find out more

Friday, February 5, 2010

Church Photovoltaic Panels

Birmingham planners have shown Birmingham up as a “stick in the mud” department by recommending rejection of the planning permission to fit PV panels on St Mary’s Church Moseley. Councillors yesterday simply opted out by accepting the officers opinion. Some time ago I had heard that there were staff in that department who were climate change deniers so perhaps this reinforces that view.
St Marys is a grade ll listed building yet throughout the country there are examples of planning authorities granting permission for panels on even Grade l listed churches St James, Piccadilly shown above).

In rejecting the application the council has flown in the face of government advice to them which is that sustainability issues should have the highest priority when considering applications. They have even ignored the advice of one the city’s own sustainability officer who incidentally is also part of the planning team.

By this action the council has put the reputation of Birmingham as a progressive sustainable city, right to the bottom of the league