Renewable energy

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We want to help you do your bit to reduce energy consumption and climate change. The use of renewable and low carbon technologies will help you save energy and money in your own home.

Renewable energy is energy generated from sources that are inexhaustible, unlike fossil fuels. These sources, such as wind, sun and biomass, produce much lower levels of carbon dioxide emissions and other green house gases.

In addition to reducing your carbon footprint there are other benefits to using renewable energy:

  • Most renewable energy technologies save you money over time. As time goes on renewable energy becomes cheaper while the price of fossil fuel is rising.
  • Generating your own electricity gives you the security of supply. With some systems, as long as the wind is blowing or the sun is shining, you are guaranteed to have a certain amount of energy available in your home.



These systems, which are often seen as solar panels or solar roof tiles, use energy from sunlight to generate electricity which can be used to run appliances and lighting.

The greater the intensity of light, the greater the generation of electricity.

Panels are not light and installation will be subject to the strength of your roof. These systems are best suited for a building with a south, south east or south west facing wall or roof and with minimal shading. Systems must be MCS (Microgeneration Certificate Scheme) approved and be fitted by experienced MCS accredited installers.

Cost and maintenance

A typical domestic system is around 2.2 kilowatt-peak units in size and would produce over 40 percent of the electricity needed for a domestic home. A 2.2 kilowatt-peak unit system would cost around £6,000. Solar tiles are more expensive than conventional panels. Once installed there are no running costs, but the inverter may need replacing after eight to 10 years.

Financial help

This system is eligible for the Feed In Tariff.

Planning permission

You may need planning permission. Please view our planning pages for more information.

Wind turbines are used to harness the wind’s energy by turning aerodynamic blades that turn a rotator to create electricity.

Small scale wind turbines that can be installed on roofs are now available to buy for home use. A typical domestic system would be between 2.5 and six kilowatts.

Relatively minor increases in wind speed result in large changes in potential output. The best sites have an annual wind speed of at least five meters per second.

Knowledge of local wind speed is critical. For more information, visit the British Wind Energy Association website.

Cost and maintenance

Systems up to one kilowatt can cost up to £3,000. Turbines can have a life span of 20 years, but need regular servicing.

Financial help

This system is eligible for the Feed In Tariff.

Planning permission

You may need planning permission. Please view our planning pages for more information.

Micro combined heat and power technology generates heat and electricity at the same time from a single source for individual homes.

A typical system could produce up to one kilowatt-hour. There are many system variations to suit individual homes and energy consumption.

The cost and maintenance of a system will be around £5,500 and can be installed to replace a conventional boiler with service and maintenance costs thought to be similar to those of a conventional boiler.

Financial help

This system is eligible for the Feed In Tariff.

Planning permission

Planning permission for a flue may not be required, but there some exceptions. Please view our planning pages for more information.