Recently I had a meeting with Mark Partridge from Bright Green Renewables (www.brightgreenrenewables.co.uk). I have recommended his company a few times as Mark is passionate about renewables and is therefore a good person to work with on eco schemes. We were chatting about the renewable heat incentive (RHI) scheme and how this has changed the market. Previously only clients using oil were seeing the majority of the cost savings of using a renewable heating system, but with the new RHI scheme, it’s also now a “no-brainer” for clients using gas as well. In addition solar photovoltaic panels are looking increasingly attractive. The feed-in tariffs, although down from what they were at their peak, still make it more than worthwhile with the significant reductions in the panel cost and performance improvements of these systems. Bright Green only install German made panels which they say will last at least 25 years as their quality far exceeds panels from other countries. The Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) scheme for Solar PV is now 20 years, index-linked. Across the board for most renewable energy systems you would now be looking at a 5-7 year pay back, the lowest it has ever been.
One thing clients always ask me is the cost to install a heat pump or some PV panels. Mark gave me a rough cost estimate of £5000 to £7000 for your average heat pump fit out in a 3-4 bedroom house, although this would rise for a larger house. PV panels should not cost you no more than around £6000 for a 16 panel 4kWp system, or £2,000 for a 4 panel 1kWp system (the minimum to make it worth your while).
Cost savings can be as much as 75% of your current heating bills for a professionally installed heat pump system. You can also combine this with solar PV panels so that the electricity used to run the heat pump (using either radiators or underfloor heating) and your lighting/power can be generated from the panels, allowing you to be almost completely off grid during daylight hours!