Renewable technology realiability, government green deal finance schemes and energy improvment grants, and energy heat loss assements… there is a lot of confusing information to try and understand. That is why we have put together some of the more common question areas which we hope will be of some help.

If there is something on our website that you don’t understand fully, or is confusing, or you have other questions (which I hope you will have), please do not hesitate to pick up the phone and call.

Please click on a question below and it will take you to the correct page with the answer

Renewable Technologies

Are renewable technologies tried and tested?

Renewable energy is already commonplace in other countries across the globe. For instance in Austria, Germany and the Scandinavian countries Heat Pumps have been used where possible for over 30years. Solar thermal is visible everywhere in Israel, and as we know wind turbines can be seen throughout the UK. Renewable technology must be highly tried and tested to ensure that it does not give the industry a bad name, and discredit all the progress which has been made. Micro Generation Scheme (MCS) in the UK an example of one of the bodies which does this.

Isn’t renewable energy expensive to install?

It depends on what technology you are looking to install. It can be costly and will not always be the right path to take, but the long term benefits of reduced running costs generally pay for itself and save you considerable money. Also the renewable heat incentive is there to help cover the additional cost of renewable technology. It is therefore important to get a renewable feasibility assessment before going ahead with any renewable install.

Why consider renewables?

Renewables are a fantastic way to save money, possibly make money, and help the environment. What better reason can there be!

Can we use solar power despite our weather?

Absolutely, for solar pv (electric) the panels actually work more efficiently when the outside temperature is much cooler. However the weather will have an impact on renewable technology, but this is all factored into every calculation done at Limitless Energy.

Can the sun heat water warm enough for a bath in winter?

In winter it is not always possible to heat enough water to make it hot enough for a bath. It therefore is necessary to have a back up heater which works only when needed. However on sunny days in the winter the temperature can get too hot for a bath and so it has to be blended down with cold water so that it does not burn.

Don’t heat pumps cost more to run than traditional boilers and radiators?

Not if they are designed correctly. There are a lot of horror stories out there about heat pumps costing too much, but it is all in the design. If your property is not suitable for a heat pump we will let you know and often there are steps to make it suitable.

Can a wood burning stove heat my home?

This can be the case if you have a well insulated property and the wood-burning stove is correctly sized. A wood-burning stove with a back boiler can heat radiators and your hot water, and so can be a fantastic solution to lowering energy costs.

Can a wood burning stove heat my hot water?

Yes, if you have a back-boiler installed with a specialist hot water cylinder when the fire is lit it can help meet your hot water demand.

Renewable Technologies

What’s the green deal?

The Green Deal is basically a loan which helps you make energy-saving improvements to your home. For more information please click here.

What’s the renewable heat incentive?

The renewable heat incentive is government payments, available from April 2014, which aim to pay the cost of installing renewable technologies, and it can even make you money. Its focus is for new builds and off gas grid households, and aims to encourage homeowners to install renewable heat technologies – air source heat pumps, biomass systems, ground source heat pumps and solar thermal technology – in homes across Wales, England and Scotland.

Different cash dividends are available for each technology, rewarding the owner of the heating system for each unit of renewable heat produced (measured by kilowatt hour or kWh) with quarterly payments over seven years when installed by an MCS installer (Microgeneration certification scheme) RECC member (Renewable Energy Consumer Code). These vary from 7.3p/kWh for air source heat pumps, up to 19.2p/kWh for solar thermal.

For more information on OFGEM’s renewable heat incentives click here

What’s the Feed in Tariff Scheme?

The Feed in Tariff is a government initiative that guarantees a minimum payback for all electricity generated by a renewable electricity system – solar PV, wind turbines and hydro-electricity – plus a separate payment for the electricity exported back to the grid (i.e. that hasn’t been immediately consumed). The scheme has been running in the UK since 2010 and is available for households, businesses and landowners when installed by an MCS certified installer (Microgeneration Certification Scheme).

Anyone owning a renewable electricity system that is registered with the scheme will receive a payment for every kilowatt hour they generate. These tariffs are paid for 20 years at the rate when the system was installed, are index-linked to inflation through the RPI (retail price index), and available for households, businesses and landowners when installed by an MCS certified installer (Microgeneration Certification Scheme). Tariffs vary according the size of the system installed but for example, the tariff for a system under 4KW is currently 14.38p/kWh index linked, and the tariff for a system between 4-10KW is 13.03p/kWh as long as your property’s energy performance certification is D or above.

For information on OFGEM’s latest feed in tariff click here.

Why are there tariffs and why do they differ?

Incentive tariff rates have been designed to help cover the initial cost of installation as well as encourage people away from fossil fuels towards free natural resources such as the sun, water and wind. The rates are based on the costs of the technology and its installation, the efficiencies of the various technologies and their respective lifetimes.

How soon will my renewable investment pay back?

The various incentives are aimed to help pay back the cost of the installation. The Renewable Heat Incentive scheme is designed to help payback, within 7 years, the additional costs of replacing traditional boilers and heating systems with renewable systems. While the Feed in Tariffs aim to encourage home-owners to generate their own renewable electricity and step away from reliance upon centralised electricity provision.

Ultimately, you save money by becoming less reliant upon the Big Six energy producers, and you receive payments that intend to bridge the costs between installing a new renewable heating, hot water or electricity system vs the running costs of fossil fuels boilers (including gas and oil) and electrical goods.

If you are considering installing a renewable system, a forecast will provide a breakdown of projected payments based upon the various systems and options open to you that match your requirements. This will provide a breakdown of the quarterly and annual payments as well as identifying savings in other areas such as bills.

How do you know a property’s energy performance certification?

Properties purchased since 2007 are required by law to have an energy performance certificate. These certificates are based upon an assessment of the fabric and lighting, heating and hot water systems in place, to establish the efficiency of your property and categorise it into broad bands from A (very efficient) to G (very inefficient). However if you don’t already have a certificate for your property and you are considering renewable technology, Limitless Energy can provide a certificate as part of the assessment and installation process. Alternatively you can commission a green deal domestic energy assessor to provide a certification for you.

What’s the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS)?

MCS is a mark of quality and compliance to industry standards for renewable technology. It highlights to consumers that companies are able to consistently install or manufacture to the highest quality every time.

What’s the Renewable Energy Assurance Limited

Renewable Energy Assurance Limited is the core consumer protection criteria first developed by the Office of Fair Trading and applied them to the small-scale renewables sector. In this way Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd strives at once to promote the sector and protect consumers.

Can you make an old house more energy efficient?

Yes, in many different ways. For example it is possible to insulate cavities, roofs and floors; improve efficiency of heating and hot water systems (for instance heat pump, wood-burning stoves and solar thermal systems); and also just change daily behaviour (like turning down the thermostat 1degree and having 4minute showers).

Why bother installing renewables when the government can withdraw the incentives?

All government incentives are guaranteed, for example the renewable heat incentive will pay you for a total of 7years should you stay in the same property. Not only that renewable technology can provide increased comfort levels, reducing reliance on energy providers, increased reliability and can save money through increased efficiency.

What is building heat loss?

Building heat loss is simply the amount of heat lost through the fabric of the building. This is the most important calculation that has to be done in order to determine what energy improvements could be made. If your building has a high heat loss some renewable technology may not be advisable.

When looking at fabric heat loss it is also important to consider other types of heat loss; for example from un-insulated pipework. Limitless Energy provides a full energy assessment which determines all heat losses incurred. It looks at how may Watts per Square Meter (w/m2) is lost through the fabric and pulls all other relevant information together to produce an accessible report.