Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Electric car subsidy worth up to £5,000

Motorists who buy an electric plug-in car from January next year will get a grant worth up to £5,000 from the government.

The project was announced by Labour but placed on hold by the coalition until the autumn spending review.

Now the Treasury has taken the highly unusual step of agreeing to ring fence the money from any cuts.

Carmakers had been putting pressure on the new government to announce what was happening to the electric car subsidy.

They had warned that without it, the UK would be significantly less attractive for new investment.
'Absolutely committed'

The sheer scale of budget cuts needed across government departments - with the distinct possibility that transport might fare worse than most - had placed the scheme in doubt.
Continue reading the main story
“Start Quote

How often do you drive more than 90 miles in one stretch?”

End Quote David Beesley Electric car user

* What is it like to live with an electric car?

Now the government says the £43m earmarked for the scheme will be protected.

It means that anyone who buys an electric plug-in car from next year will get a 25% discount up to a maximum of £5,000.

"The coalition government is absolutely committed to low carbon growth, tackling climate change and making our energy supply more secure," said Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond.

"We are sending a clear signal that Britain is open for business and that we are committed to greening our economy.

"This will ensure that the UK is a world leader in low emission vehicles.

"We will review the level of the incentive regularly to ensure that the UK remains competitive and taxpayers get value for money."

The extra help is not expected to make up for the extra cost of the vehicle - which could be about £10,000 more expensive than its petrol equivalent.

However owners could save hundreds of pounds a year in running costs.

The subsidy will come into force at the same time as a rise in VAT.

The increase from 17.5% to 20% adds almost £640 to the cost of a £30,000 car.

One possible barrier to people adopting electric cars is the lack of dedicated plug-in points - with there currently only being about 300 across the UK.

But Nissan - whose Leaf car will be on sale in the UK from March - argues this is misleading.

It says the evidence from Japan is that people do not buy electric cars until the charging points are in place - but then do not actually use them, preferring to charge at home instead.
Grant offer

Rapid-charge plug-in points, which can charge a car to 80% capacity in less than half an hour, are not likely to be the way most people "refuel".

Electricity overnight can be significantly cheaper and motorists can plug their car in and leave it, rather than having to wait.

That works as long as the motorist's daily use is not more than the range of the car - 100 miles in the case of the Leaf.

However that also depends on users not draining the battery in other ways such as using the heating or air-conditioning.

The grant is open to both private and business fleet buyers across the UK.

It will stay in place - assuming the money does not run out - until 31 March 2012.

The level for subsequent years will be set according to how the market develops and what happens to the cost of the cars.

full article

Monday, 26 July 2010

Giant offshore turbine that mimics sycamore seeds

A giant wind turbine design that mimics the spiralling motion of a sycamore seed could revolutionise the wind power industry.

British engineers are working on a design for the Aerogenerator which would rotate on its axis and would measure nearly 900 feet from tip to tip, generating up to 10MW.

News of the design comes after Lib Dem Energy Secretary Chris Huhne signalled a dramatic increase in the number of wind farms to be built in Britain – as he said there was no money in the pot to pay for nuclear power stations.

Engineering firm Wind Power is developing the Aerogenerator with architects Grimshaw, academics at Cranfield University and is also working with Rolls Royce, Arup, BP and Shell on its revolutionary design.

Those behind the design say that it could expanded to produce turbines that generated 20MW or more of power.

Scaling up the diameter of a conventional wind turbine would produce far more power from each device but would make them extremely heavy so engineers are now looking at ways of adapting the design to make them more efficient.

The Aerogenerator has two arms jutting out from its base to form a V-shape, with rigid 'sails' mounted along their length. As the wind passes over these they act like aerofoils, generating lift which turns the structure as a whole at roughly three revolutions per minute.

The first Aerogenerator could be up and running by 2013.

full article

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Solar panels ‘could raise £34m’ for places of worship

Installing solar panels on British churches and other religious buildings could raise £34 million per year through Feed-in Tariff (FiT) payments and electricity bill savings, according to figures released by British Gas.

According to data based on the company's Green Streets programme, published this week (July 12), the renewable technology could generate more than £29 million-a-year for places of worship through FiTs and save nearly £5 million a year by not having to buy electricity.

The Feed-in Tariff scheme was launched in April this year and provides fixed, technology-dependent payments to individuals, organisations and businesses who install renewable electricity generators for every unit of electricity they produce (see this story). Under the scheme, solar photovoltaic (PV) tariffs peak at 41.3p/kWh - the highest available tariff.

The British Gas Green Streets programme - which provides £2 million to fund microgeneration and energy efficiency measures to help 14 communities around the UK save and generate energy - has both a church and a mosque involved in the project and the figures revealed here are based on real life examples of the potential savings of these buildings. These were then extrapolated to take account of the number of churches and mosques in the UK and their average congregation.

British Gas notes that the savings and money-making potential identified will be "a welcome revelation" to religious buildings which have been hit by the recession, claiming a recent report found that a quarter of all Church of England dioceses are currently facing budget deficits.

The figures also show that the CO2 savings of installing solar panels could also be significant, with savings of up to 42,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.
full article

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Air Source Heat Pump Slashes Heating Bills

The Pearce family, of Enstone, near Chipping Norton, took a £950 holiday paid for with savings made on their energy bills after having a new energy-saving air pump system installed.

The environmentally-friendly device uses naturally occuring heat from the air to warm the home and provide hot water.

The equipment, called an air source heat pump, has dramatically lowered the cost of heating the family’s three-bedroom home and meant Mark and Hayley Pearce could repay their outstanding electricity bills.
Two years ago, the Cottsway Housing Association tenants had accumulated a £1,000 bill with Southern Electric.

The couple then had the new heating system installed by Cottsway to replace the old electric storage heaters and solid fuel open fire in the lounge.

Before the new heating system, they spent £1,137 a year on electricity bills and solid fuel.

The house is not on the gas network and the storage heaters and coal fire gave it a carbon footprint of nine tonnes of CO2 a year.

Costs are now down to £384 for the heating and the carbon footprint has dropped to 3.2 tonnes.

The housing association has installed air source heat pumps to replace storage and convector heaters and solid fuel fires in some of its houses.

Cottsway spokesman Gary Salter said: “We knew we would see a cut in fuel bills for our tenants but this has even surprised us.”

The ‘Ecodan’ air source heat pump operates on a small amount of electricity. It works effectively in temperatures below -15C.

Thousands of homes in Scandinavia have similar technology and it is being promoted and bought by UK energy suppliers.

Mr Salter added: “It’s very simple to install and operate, and will work with conventional radiators like those in most homes heated by gas central heating.

“We are delighted with the results from all of the Ecodan systems we have installed to date.”

full article

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Worcester Energy Homes

With everyone looking closely at fuel bills and doing their bit for the environment, this Worcester energy homes website from Worcester is here to help you see how real life Worcester installations are saving money and energy. See what the homeowners have to say about their installations and find out what other energy saving solutions are available to you.

The Worcester Energy Homes are real life examples of how condensing boilers, solar panels and heat pumps can reduce fuel bills and help the environment.

The website shows interviews with families who’ve improved their homes’ energy efficiency with Worcester products and easy to read summaries showing those savings.

The Energy Homes website also includes:

* Customer video testimonials
* Energy summaries for each home
* Videos of product installations
* A virtual tour of our flagship Energy Home
* Tips on saving energy in your home
full article

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Grants for Solar Panels

Grants for Solar Panels

The UK government has committed itself to reducing household C02 emissions and improving the energy efficiency of homes throughout the UK. Currently there are two schemes specifically targeted at getting more domestic use of solar panels, one for solar photovoltaic panels and the other for solar hot water systems.
Other Government Grants Available

As part of a government backed initiative to make houses more energy efficient you can get up to £3500 towards the cost of solar panels. The level of grant available to you depends on your circumstances as well as any previous grants awarded on the property. To be eligible for these grants an accredited installer must be used and they will help guide you through what you are entitled to.

Solar Photovoltaic Panels

Direct grants for the installation of Solar Photovoltaic Panels are no longer available but there are still grants available for improving a homes energy efficiency that can be used towards the cost of solar panels (See Below).

The direct grants have been replaced since April 2010 by the new government backed feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme with which you have the ability to earn back money by feeding unused electricity generated back into the national grid as well as earn money for the power that you actually use. Ofgem are administering this scheme and the electricity suppliers themselves are responsible for paying the reward back to the customers.

It is possible for a well sited solar PV installation to earn a tax free income of £700 as well as saving around £140 a year on the household electricity bill meaning that the system could pay for itself in less than half of its expected lifetime leaving you to reap the financial rewards as this scheme has been guaranteed by the UK Government for 25 years. Currently if your solar photovoltaic panels were installed by an accredited installer you can earn up to 44.3p p/kWh for the power you export to the national grid and up to 41.3p p/kWh for the electricity that you use.

Solar Hot Water Systems

A second scheme is currently in place for those looking to purchase a Solar Hot Water System where the government will give a grant of a maximum of £400 or 30% of the total vat-exclusive installed cost, whichever is the smaller cost. In reality the cost of a solar hot water system means that most will receive the £400 grant.

Is is planned that the current grant scheme to stop towards the end of 2010 (Once the allocated money has run out) and to be replaced with the new renewable heat incentive (RHI) scheme which works on a similar basis to the FITs scheme. While the final figures are not currently available it is thought that a payment of around 18p p/kWh for the heat generated will be paid meaning that on top of the average saving in heating bills of £75 you will earn back around £350 per year. This gives a similar 'payback period' as you get with Solar photovoltaic systems.

full article

Making UK homes energy efficient would cost less than £3,000 per house

The majority of the UK's least energy-efficient homes could be brought up to near-average green standards for less than £3,000, a new analysis claims today.

The Energy Saving Trust says the cost of upgrading such properties may be less than many consumers think, while also revealing that the numbers of energy-inefficient homes in both the private and rented sectors has decreased.

The Trust found that in 2008, the most recent year for which data is available, 17% of English homes were in the F and G bands – the lowest gradings on an energy performance certificate (EPC). Two years previously in 2006, 22% were in those bands.

But 84% of these homes could be brought into E band for £3,000 - typically by installing new loft and cavity wall insulation or a modern boiler. The average home in the UK is currently rated at D.

Older homes needing major modernisation, including an entire new central heating system, would need at least £5,000 to bring them into line. The Trust found that this group – deemed to be very energy-inefficient homes – are twice as common in the private rented sector as in the rest of stock.

The study found that the worst, G-rated homes can emit over 22 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year – and for each home it would be possible to save 14 tonnes of CO2 annually by upgrading them to an E rating. By comparison an average British home emits five tonnes of CO2.

David Weatherall, housing strategy manager for the Energy Saving Trust, said: "On the whole, our study is good news. Most F- and G-rated homes can be improved very cost-effectively, for less than £3,000. That's less than 2% of the sale price of the average UK home."

He continued: "With the abolition of Home Information Packs, and the new government committed to the green agenda, EPCs are going to enjoy a higher profile. For anyone about to sell their home with an old boiler or lacking full loft and cavity insulation, we'd strongly advise you not to take the risk of getting a very poor energy rating and potentially a lower sale price."

Friends of the Earth's climate campaigner Dave Timms said: "It's shocking that the very worst homes are twice as common in the private rented sector. The government must act urgently to ensure they are brought up to scratch. That means financial help and incentives to enable landlords to make improvements, and legislation so that rented homes are required to meet a minimum energy-efficiency standard by 2016."

A previous Energy Saving Trust survey suggested 70% of people would consider renegotiating the price of a property if they discovered it was inefficient.

The findings come just a day after a government advisory group warned that people in fuel poverty are being hardest hit by climate change policies - without seeing much benefit from efforts to reduce energy use. According to the Fuel Poverty Advisory Group, energy bills have increased by 125% in the past six years, with the number of households in fuel poverty in England quadrupling as a result. Some 4.6m households in England now spend more than 10% of their income on heating their homes - the measure defines fuel poverty.

full article

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Why You Should Convert Your Home To Solar Energy Homes

Solar energy homes create clean, green and free energy. The sun's energy is a renewable source and sustainable. Solar panels absorb light from the sun, which is changed into electricity to power your house. The sun produces a free supply of limitless energy. The energy can also be saved for later use by means of a rechargeable battery.

Solar energy homes are economically-responsible

Solar energy houses not only offer a clean, renewable energy source they also offer economical savings. Imagine being able to put an end to power bills. In less than seven years, all the money you initially spent on building a solar panel framework, will be recouped. All the money you'd have had to give to the power company now belongs to you! So enjoy spending it on something more exciting than electricity. Create renewable energy houses and your electricity is effectively free.

Solar energy homes are easy to take care of

Not only do solar panels endure year after year, they require practically no maintenance. Solar panels noiselessly take in and transform energy. There are no moving parts that will need to be replaced. As your family grows you can add new solar panels to your home to increase the amount of sunshine they're able to take up.

Solar energy homes are lucrative

Not only do some governments encourage consumers to create energy efficient homes by offering tax rebates or grants, some electricity providers actually purchase surplus electricity generated by private houses.

What's the cost for solar energy homes?

The cost of having a commercial renewables company set up a solar panel system on your roof is beyond what most of us can find the money for. This is why power companies are undaunted by their superior competitor: renewable energies. Luckily, there are a number of Do-it-yourself kits that offer convenient instructions on how to build your own solar network.Check out more details about a DIY kit that can make your life a lot easier here:

full article

Calif. examines smart meters as component of energy future

California has grand plans for saving energy, improving the electricity grid and cutting the number of power plants built in the state.

And many of those plans depend, at least in part, on the smart meter.

The advanced meter is a basic building block for the energy future that state officials are trying to create. The meter will change when and how people use electricity, proponents say.

It will pave the way for the widespread use of solar panels and electric cars as well as help reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

“It’s kind of baked into the state policy that smart meters need to be in place,” said Andrew Tang, senior director of demand-side management at Pacific Gas and Electric Co. The utility, California’s largest, is installing the meters on every home and business it serves.

But the accuracy of smart meters — in particular, the ones used by PG and E — has been called into question.

Angry homeowners have complained that their utility bills soared after the new meters were installed.
Unlike old gas and electric meters, smart meters transmit data to the utility via wireless communication, eliminating the need for meter readers. The utility can also send instructions to the meter — for example, telling the meter to turn a home’s power on or off. The meters can also measure energy use by the hour or at even shorter intervals, giving customers detailed information about their energy use patterns.

Therein lies their appeal. State officials charged with meeting California’s future energy needs try to avoid building power plants whenever possible, to save money, cut pollution and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One way to do that is to cut the amount of electricity the state uses during peak hours, typically in the mid- to late afternoon when air conditioners are cranking.

full article

Friday, 9 July 2010

Feed-in tariffs offer a valuable income

TENS of thousands of pounds additional annual income is there for the taking by rural estates and farms.

That is, if they take advantage of the new renewable energy feed-in tariff scheme says Knight Frank.

The company’s renewable energy team has undertaken an analysis contained in its latest publication, The Rural Report.

The firm created a hypothetical “renewable energy” estate that utilises all the main forms of renewable energy - solar, wind, hydro and anaerobic digestion. It then calculated how much income could be derived from each using feed-in tariffs.

Assuming all the electricity produced was exported to the National Grid, two wind turbines created an annual income of £300,000, an anaerobic digester created an extra £460,000 per year while a modest hydroelectric scheme added £190,000.

“Feed-in tariffs were introduced in the dying days of the Labour government and were designed to encourage people to create their own renewable electricity.

An index-linked payment guaranteed for up to 25 years is made for each unit of electricity produced even if it used by the generator for their own consumption. The tariff varies depending on how the energy is being generated and the scale of the scheme,” says the report.

The smaller the scheme and the longer its potential payback, the larger the payment.

Head of Knight Frank’s renewables and energy department, Christopher Smith, said: “We have already seen a huge surge in enquiries from landowners looking to take advantage of feed-in tariffs.

“One of the attractive things about them is payments are guaranteed for up to 25 years, which means it is now easier to get bank funding to set up renewable energy projects.
The contribution from photovoltaic solar panels was a more modest £26,300 but the total income came to £916,000 per annum with a lifetime potential of £18.5m.

full article

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Europe’s renewable electricity generation nearly hits 20%

Last year, just shy of 20% of Europe’s total electricity consumption came from renewable sources, according to the latest figures from the European Commission
The findings, which indicate that renewables accounted for 62% of newly installed generation capacity in 2009, give grounds for “cautious optimism” says the JRC.

Overall, hydropower still makes up the single largest share at 11.6% of Europe’s total electricity consumption, followed by wind (4.2%), biomass (3.5%) and solar (0.4%).

But in newly installed capacity, wind (37.1%) and solar photovoltaics (21%) clearly lead the way, with biomass (2.1%), hydro (1.4%) and concentrated solar power (0.4%) trailing behind
If current growth rates continue, all renewables could meet up to 35-40% of total consumption in Europe by 2020, generating around 1400 TWh.

The UK plan highlights offshore wind and marine energy as key areas of development, along with support measures such as feed-in tariffs, renewable heat incentives and the Green Investment Bank to ensure the country meets its target of 15% renewables by 2020.

full article

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Solar Electricity Feed In Tariff

It’s midsummer, the number of daylight hours is at its zenith and Britain’s fledgling solar-electricity industry is at its peak production. There is now a generous tariff paid for solar electricity exported to the grid, so putting panels up on your roof represents an excellent return on investment — between 5 and 8 per cent, depending on how far north or south you live. No wonder money pages and finance websites are recommending home owners install these income-generating mini power stations. No wonder installers such as PV Solar are putting up 25 systems every week and have over a million pounds’ worth of orders.

With the promise of clean, green, free electricity and a guaranteed income from it for 25 years, what’s not to like? Quite a lot, actually, say some, who are critical of the Feed In Tariff (FiT) system. There is an increasingly polarised debate between those who say solar PV must play a vital part in our future renewable energy mix, and those who say it is a horrendously costly scheme that ultimately subsidises the middle classes to put income-generating panels on their roofs. The system pays home owners 41.3 pence per unit of PV electricity they produce, while most people pay, at the moment, between 9 and 13 pence per unit for what they buy from the grid. Where will this enormous shortfall be plugged? In higher electricity bills for those not fortunate enough to afford the £20,000 outlay it costs to put panels up, say critics, including George Monbiot, the green campaigner, and the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

full article

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Free LED lamp replacement for life Free LED lamp replacement for life - news feed from the Electrical News Portal

As a broad national average, lighting makes up around 10 to 15 per cent of electricity bills. Two entrepreneurs have joined forces to launch a new super-energy-saving LED light bulb that is claimed to save money, save time and save the environment. The new lamps are 90 per cent more energy efficient than their halogen counterparts and outlive traditional halogens by 48,000 hours each. The LED light not only boasts energy saving value but also comes with a ‘for life’ certificate so consumers will only make the purchase once, with free replacement for life.

Founder of Gloucester company Epsilon Test Services, Mark Blanchfield, has joined local celebrity, Tim Bawtree, who shot to fame with his underground eco house in Channel Four’s Grand Designs. Together the directors have formed to supply the best in LED bulbs (or ‘lamps’ as they’re known in the trade), which they say perform as well as halogens but use just 3-5 watts of electricity to produce the same light output as a halogen lamp.

The ‘for life’ aspect of Bulbs4Life products is a scheme for replacement and refurbishment, run by the company. When consumers buy a lamp they will automatically receive a certificate that guarantees replacement for life, made possible by the quality of the lamps, say Bulbs4Life. Once their LED stops working they simply return it and receive an immediate free replacement; their lamp is refurbished and then reused. Businesses are offered a similar scheme where their lamps are refurbished at a minimal cost, with over 70 per cent of the components being recyclable.

An average household replacing ten halogen lights for Bulbs4Life LED equivalents could save £1700 and 5700kg of carbon savings over a ten year period. For businesses and organisations the savings are even greater, given their higher usage: An example organisation replacing 1000 halogen lamps for these LEDs would save 92 per cent on their energy bills*, cutting from £12,000 spent annually on electricity to power them to just £1,000; an impressive potential saving of £11,000. In this example, the money saving is enhanced by carbon output savings of 41 metric tons per year.

“Our LED lamps emit light of the same quality as halogen bulbs, they do not flicker and switch on instantly, so there is no compromise in performance when switching to LEDs,” explained Bulbs4Life director, Mark Blanchfield. “As our LED’s last so much longer they also reduce ongoing maintenance costs associated with replacement and more than 70 per cent of our lamps’ components can be recycled. Landfill impact can be greatly reduced by refurbishment and harmful chemicals such as mercury are completely avoided with our LED lamps.”

Bulbs4Life are on the Carbon Trust suppliers list, which offers interest-free loans to qualifying organisations that switch to its LED lamps. The cost of purchase is covered for any business with up to 250 employees and replacing 200 or more halogen lamps. According to Bulbs4Life payback is swift, given that loan repayments on the purchase price can be easily covered by financial savings on energy in just nine months, fitting well within the typical loan term of three to four years.

Commenting on the scale of the environmental potential, Tim Bawtree said, “Our hope is that consumers, companies and organisations will swap their electricity-thirsty halogens for energy saving LEDs and nationally this could go a long way to fulfilling the Government’s targets for CO2 savings (Carbon Emission Reduction Target or CERT). For example, if every home replaced just one bulb it would save 36 million tons of CO2 in a year; that’s 80 per cent of the Government target in 2010 met in just one step.”

Local Liberal Democrat MP and Shadow Environment Minister, Martin Horwood, is positive about the new lighting: “This is, literally, a brilliant product from a great local company. And it’s good for the environment too. I’ve done my best to support Bulbs4Life and I want to see one of Cheltenham’s green stars succeed. For customers it offers a clean, green conscience and big savings on the bottom line,” he said.

full article

Green-power households would cash in under proposed renewable energy laws

A scheme which would see WA households and businesses paid for any renewable energy they generate - plus a small profit - has been introduced into Parliament.

The Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff Bill, a gross feed-in tariff scheme, was introduced by Greens MLC Robin Chapple in the Legislative Council this morning.

It would oblige transmission companies Western Power or Horizon Power to pay generators, including households, the cost of production, plus a rate of return yet to be worked out - but likely to be around the long-term bond rate (about 6 per cent at present) - for 20 years.
Those costs would be passed on to retailers such as Synergy who would then pass them on to customers "if not offset by other savings", Mr Chapple told Parliament.

Savings could include renewable energy certificates - issued by the federal government - being surrendered by generators to power retailers to be sold on the open market.

The Bill drew on legislation from Germany, Denmark and Spain, which were recognised as world leaders in feed-in tariffs, and could easily be adopted by other Australian states.

Payments would be stopped after 20 years by which time it was expected renewable energy would be cost-effective.

The scheme could encourage more than $4 billion in renewable energy investment in the next 10 years, Mr Chapple claimed.

"(It's) a simple robust cost-effective mechanism to support renewable energy development in WA," he said.

Unlike the federal government's scheme, which heavily favoured large wind energy projects over other forms of renewable energy, the WA scheme would be democratic.

The state government announced a net feed-in tarriff scheme in last month's budget.

With a net scheme, only excess power above that required by a household is paid for, while with a gross scheme all power generated is paid for, with the homeowner still required to pay their full power bill.

The government's $23 million scheme, which would see households paid up to 47 cents a kilowatt-hour, was "piecemeal window dressing", Mr Chapple said.

Environmental groups criticised the net scheme as few households would ever generate more energy than they needed to take advantage of it.

full article

Financing for energy retrofits coming soon, but facing hurdles

Oakland homeowners may soon have incentives to insulate their walls, upgrade windows and install solar panels, thanks to a countywide program set to launch this fall. Through the Alameda County Energy Efficiency and Green Retrofit Program, owners of residential property in the county can get rebates for making energy-saving improvements to their property. They will also be able to take out a loan to pay for the improvements, and then pay it back through their property taxes over a period of up to 20 years.

"There's a big tidal wave of money coming into the state for energy-saving home retrofits," said Bruce Mast, director of programs for Build It Green, one of the retrofit program's numerous partners. Mast introduced the complex scheme, part of a statewide initiative called Energy Upgrade California, to some 70 contractors at Hayward City Hall on Wednesday evening, June 30.

"It's a government-sponsored tidal wave so it's moving at a glacial pace," he joked, followed by chuckles from the audience, who listened intently to what could be a major boon to the green building industry. "But it is eventually going to thaw, and when it does it's going to be big, and hopefully we're going to be ready."

full article

British Gas starts £15 million free solar installations scheme for schools

To kick-start its move into becoming a major solar energy installer in the UK, the country's leading energy supplier, British Gas has started a £15 million project to supply 1,100 primary and secondary schools in total with free solar systems worth between £20,000 and £40,000 pounds per school over the next five years.

British Gas estimates that the scheme will generate approximately £1.3 million in revenues per annum under the UK feed-in tariff, which will be reinvested by the British Gas Energy For Tomorrow Trust, a 'not for profit' trust fund established by British Gas to invest in low carbon projects in the UK fund further free installations at schools across the country.

"This is the biggest investment of its kind in solar technology for our nation's schools, which will help them cut both their carbon emissions and their electricity bills - as well as learn about renewable energy in a hands-on way,” commented Phil Bentley, Managing Director, British Gas.

So far, British Gas has earmarked half of the total investment at schools in low income areas in conjunction with the Government's Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP), but all schools in the UK can register for an application form at British Gas. A competition is expected to be announced that schools can participate in to potentially win a free solar installation at their given school.

full article