For those of us feeling the pinch from ever-rising energy bills, renewable energy systems offer particularly attractive incentives. Not only do they allow you to generate clean and green energy, and reduce your carbon footprint in the process, but they can save you money and even bring in an income over time.
What Are Renewable Energy Systems?
Rather than use damaging and dwindling supplies of coal and natural gas, renewable energy systems use the Earth’s natural resources to generate clean energy. These include wind, solar, wave and geothermal energy, which extracts heat from under the Earth’s crust. These resources are hugely powerful and plentiful, and scientists are continually looking at ways to further utilise their potential for human energy needs. Many of these systems are implemented on a commercial scale, but increasingly they are also being used to benefit individual homes, businesses and also communities.
How Can It Save Me Money?
By having your own renewable energy system, you can generate your own electricity and heat, depending on the technology you buy. This means that you no longer need to buy electricity and gas from your utility supplier, which saves you money. Additionally, your renewable system gives you security of supply, as you no longer have to worry about power cuts or other breaks in supply from your provider. This is a valuable asset for those who live in places with patchy connections or who can’t afford power downtime, such as care homes and farms.
Additionally, by having your own renewable energy system, you can benefit from an income via the government’s subsidy system. This is designed to encourage take-up of the systems and pays a set amount to those who install them via accredited and registered microgeneration installers. There are two of these schemes in use today: the Feed-In Tariff (FIT) system for electricity and the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for heat.
Government Incentive Schemes
Under the Feed-In Tariff system, also known as the FIT, the government pays a fixed price for energy generated via renewable means which is distributed back into the national grid. This means that individuals can generate enough electricity to meet their own needs, and earn an income through feeding any excess back into national grid. The Renewable Heat Incentive scheme works in similar ways. Under the RHI, the owner is paid an incentive payment for producing their own heat through renewable energy means.
To be qualified for this scheme, your renewable energy system must be installed by a certified microgeneration installer. The installer will help you work out exactly which system is right for you, and assess the potential savings and benefits that you could incur.
It is a good time to invest, as the technologies that underpin systems such as solar PV panels and wind turbines have experienced vast improvements and rapid developments in the last couple of years, and the systems are meant to last. Your installer will also offer a regular servicing and maintenance contract for the life of your system, so that it remains operating at its maximum efficiency. Bear in mind too that some technologies benefit from being ‘fit and forget’ in nature, such as ground source and air source heat.
Whichever technology you choose for your home, you can look forward to a host of benefits – both environmental and monetary – now and in the future.