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Frequently asked questions

These days, so much is said about renewable energy. It can be difficult to work it all out, but it's a lot simpler than some people make it sound.

Confused or concerned? Take a look at some of the common questions below. If your query isn't covered here, get in touch with us and we'll be happy to explain.

 

What exactly is renewable energy?

Renewable energy is energy that comes from sources that won't run out. For example, the energy from the sun isn't going to be used up if we harvest it; we won't run out of wind or moving water, either. By contrast, fossil fuels will eventually run out because we're using them faster than they're being created.

Why should I choose renewable energy?

Renewable energy is clean - it doesn't produce carbon dioxide or any other harmful pollutants. It's healthier for humans and it doesn't have any negative effects on the environment.

Plus, as fossil fuels get rarer, they're getting more expensive. Our supplies of sunlight, wind and water won't shrink, so your energy bills will stay low.

What does renewable energy have to do with sustainability?

Sustainability is all about making sure that our way of life can continue into the future without damaging the environment. Renewable energy makes our lifestyles more sustainable, because it doesn't contribute to global warming and it won't run out. Renewable energy sources can support our way of life for as long as we need them to!

Can I use renewable energy to heat my home?

Yes! Many people think that renewable energy can only replace your electricity supply, but many renewable technologies can provide central heating and hot water. Of course, you can also use your renewable electricity to generate heat, but it's usually more efficient to install a heat generator as well as an electricity generator.

Can I get funding for my renewable energy project?

Almost certainly. There are many different sources of financial support, and we'd be happy to talk you through them. The right choice will depend on exactly what you're planning to do.

Some of the measures are government funded, such as the Feed-In Tariff, the Renewable Heat Incentive and the Green Deal.

How much electricity can my wind turbine generate?

The answer to this varies greatly. Wind turbines, solar panels and other methods of renewable energy are capable of generating different amounts depending on which model you install - typically, the more you spend, the more you'll get.

It also depends on the climate in your region. Your turbine will generate more if you live in a windy county, and your solar panels will work best if you regularly get clear skies.

Can I sell the electricity I generate?

Usually, yes! It's quite common to generate more than you need, and the excess can be fed back into the National Grid. There are some legal paths to tread, but we can guide you. We can help you with the applications as well as the physical work involved, and once you're hooked up to the Grid, you'll start to receive your Feed-In Tariff.

How much can I get for my electricity?

The Feed-In Tariff rates aren't fixed; they're determined by the government and fluctuate to take account of various factors. For up-to-date information, take a look at the Feed-In Tariff website.

What does FIT stand for?

FIT stands for "Feed-In Tariff". The government has a scheme where, if you generate electricity with renewable sources, you can be paid for all the electricity you use. You even get paid if you use all that energy yourself! Anything you don't use is "sold" back to the National Grid.

What does RHI stand for?

RHI stands for "Renewable Heat Incentive". This is a government scheme that, from 2014, will pay both domestic and commercial properties for the renewable heat they generate. Unlike with the Feed-In Tariff, which is for electricity, there's no National Grid for heat so you can't sell it on. But you will get paid for all the heat energy you produce.

Which renewable energy option should I choose?

This depends on a huge number of different factors. The best way to reach this decision is to have Ecofitter perform an energy assessment. Based on your location, the size of your property and various other contributing factors, we will be able to present you with a number of great options. It's then up to you to make the final decision.

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