Renewable Energy For Your Home: Are You Missing A Trick?

Renewable”, “sustainable” and “green” for some clients are just bywords for expensive and complex when used in relation to home heating or energy generation; with little tangible benefit to the customer.

For design professionals and architects who are slightly more attune to the true benefits of renewable technologies, it can be frustrating and time consuming trying to convert clients who are suspicious of anything “alternative”.

Top 5 benefits of renewable technologies

Here are what we perceive to be the top 5 key benefits that may help persuade your client to see the light, take the technology seriously, and take the next step to integrating it into their home or business.

Lower running costs

Economics and price is one of the biggest factors in making the choice to switch to a new product. In the case of renewable technology such as heat pumps, biomass and solar their inherent process efficiencies make them cheaper to run than almost all of their fossil fuel equivalents.

Just take one proven example: a well-designed ground source heat pump system can half the running cost of running an ageing oil boiler. Yes HALF the running cost! For many off the gas network on oil, this saving alone is often a real head turner.

Government subsidies

The renewable heat incentive (RHI) scheme provides tax free income for home owners that integrate heat pumps, biomass or solar thermal into their properties. There are different tariffs for different technologies and the payments will last for 7 years. The level of income will pay for systems within this payment period giving an equivalent return of investment around 11%-14%.

Similarly the Feed In Tariff for solar panels and wind turbines is tax free too and payments last for 20 years. Returns at present also exceed 10% in most cases.

Longer heating system life

Much of the heat pump and biomass boiler technology being produced has its origins in commercial applications and years of European development; this means that often heat pump and biomass products are engineered to last much longer than their gas and oil boiler counterparts.

Clients who are about to dedicated large amounts of money to a renewable solution want to ensure its going to last; as a result manufacturer warranty terms for goods range from a meagre standard 2 year warranty to a solid 7 and even 10 years on major components from some mainstream manufacturers.

Lower fossil fuel dependency

Clients who have put up with annual fossil fuel price fluctuations of oil and gas can be set free from these market force shackles by migrating onto electricity dependant heat pumps solutions. Electricity prices are far less susceptible to seasonal price fluctuation and market demand, and so fuel costs become far more predictable. And for those coming off oil, winter fuel deliveries become a thing of the past too.

Improved house desirability

A slightly more distant but justifiable benefit of changing the heating system away from fossil fuel dependent technology, is the increased desirability of the property to potential buyers. Whilst the house value may or may not increase the improved energy efficiency rating of the building, and reduced running costs of the property, will be an attractive selling point to any estate agent who knows their stuff.

Cumulatively these benefits and assuming you find a great installer can transform your client’s home energy usage and should be strongly considered as part of any 21st century building project.

If you like the idea of installing green solutions in your home or business and would like further advice, feel free to contact me or leave a comment below.

Doug Johnson

Doug is a chartered mechanical engineer and has had the pleasure of being involved in the UK renewable sector since 2008. With wide-ranging operational and design experience in both the domestic and commercial sectors across a wide range of recognised technologies he hopes to be able to share his experience to help enlighten and save you hassle along the way.