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Guide to Sustainable Low-Carbon Home Heating

This resource discusses renewable heating options as well as energy grants and financial support to help you buy and install an energy efficient home heating system.

The first question that may come to mind is What, exactly, is renewable energy? Simply put, it's generated from natural sources, such as sun, wind and water, and naturally replenished from these sources. The benefits of this natural energy are many, including reduced dependence on non-renewable sources, use of secure local sources, reduced carbon footprint and reduced energy bills.

Approach the installation of a renewables system for your home with proper research and planning. The offers a thorough checklist of important steps: Find a reputable installer, get a quote, check planning permissions and building warrants, check your insurance policy, then research the many government schemes offering financial support and incentives for installing renewables

There are many ways to generate your own electricity and various technologies suitable for use in every location. Solar panels generate green electricity and many benefits to you: Cut your electricity bills, get paid for the electricity you generate by the UK government's Feed-in Tariff scheme, and reduce your carbon footprint. Wind turbines may be mounted on either pole or building and you'll be able to take advantage of savings and financial support, including the Feed-In Tariff scheme and the UK government's Green Deal. Hydro power is yet another home heating option that takes advantage of your small stream or larger river. These systems can produce enough electricity for lighting and appliances in an average home. Hydro systems are one of the most reliable alternatives to mains supplies in isolated areas.

The Micro-CHP unit generates heat and electricity simultaneously. This option has three technologies:

  1. Stirling engine micro-CHP
  2. Internal combustion engine CHP
  3. Fuel cell CHP technology.

Installation is easy. Off-grid power is especially useful for isolated homes with no mains electricity, homes without electricity or for those who generate their own. This alternative is never as easy as drawing power from mains, but it's often cheaper than securing a mains connection and is much cheaper than using a diesel engine. The Micro-CHP and off-grid power are both eligible for the Feed-In Tariff scheme and the Microgeneration Certification Scheme.

After you've installed your renewables system, there's still more to do. Make sure your installer provides the MCS installation certificate so that you may take advantage of various funding schemes. Get a follow-up EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) to meet the requirements of many programs, and if you wish to rent your property in the UK or sell your house in Scotland. Claim all financial support for which you applied and last, and most important, learn about your system. Make sure your installer thoroughly explains your newly installed system, its controls and supplies all manuals to you before the installation is completed.