Case study

The Oban Times - - News -

Lochgilp­head home­own­ers Amanda and Richard had a very high monthly elec­tric­ity bill for heat­ing, de­spite the fact that they had in­stalled so­lar PV pan­els in early 2012 with the help of the Home Energy Scot­land re­new­ables loan scheme. The cou­ple were be­com­ing in­creas­ingly con­scious of the car­bon foot­print they were cre­at­ing and the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of non-re­new­able heat­ing fu­els, so they made the de­ci­sion to fur­ther in­ves­ti­gate re­new­able tech­nolo­gies. This even­tu­ally led them to con­tact Home Energy Scot­land for ad­vice and ex­per­tise. Amanda com­ments: “Our ad­vi­sor was ex­tremely knowl­edge­able and helped to clar­ify an oth­er­wise very com­pli­cated and con­vo­luted process.” As well as re­duc­ing their bills and car­bon foot­print, Amanda and Richard were also keen to make the most of the var­i­ous gov­ern­ment schemes in op­er­a­tion, such as the Feed-in Tar­iff (FIT), the Re­new­able Heat In­cen­tive (RHI) pay­ments and the re­new­ables loan. The cou­ple were com­mit­ted to in­stalling a biomass boiler and were for­tu­nate that they had plenty of spare time to re­search the dif­fer­ent tech­nolo­gies and po­ten­tial in­stall­ers to get the right sys­tem for them. Amanda ex­plains: “It took a lot of pa­tience and tenac­ity, but even­tu­ally our biomass boiler was in­stalled in Jan­uary of this year (2014) and we could not be hap­pier with the sys­tem and the in­stall­ers. The in­stal­la­tion team were amaz­ing and I could not rec­om­mend them highly enough. I was dread­ing the process as, in ad­di­tion to the biomass boiler, we needed a new wet sys­tem to be in­stalled in the prop­erty, which was a big un­der­tak­ing. My fears were in­stantly al­le­vi­ated by the pro­fes­sional and hard-work­ing in­stall­ers who com­pleted the works ef­fi­ciently and with min­i­mal mess and dis­rup­tion.” For oth­ers con­sid­er­ing in­stalling a sim­i­lar re­new­able sys­tem, Amanda and Richard would rec­om­mend re­search­ing the sys­tems and the dif­fer­ent schemes thor­oughly. The cou­ple re­flect on their jour­ney: “The whole path­way into re­new­able tech­nol­ogy can be very daunt­ing for a lot of peo­ple and many may be, ini­tially, put off by the as­sess­ment and as­sis­tance struc­ture; how­ever, once you ac­cess the sys­tem it is very worth­while! It would be great to see more in­for­ma­tion about re­new­able tech­nolo­gies avail­able in a for­mat that peo­ple can un­der­stand: a clear vis­ual map or flow-chart which guides you through all the steps of the process.” Amanda and Richard are keen to talk to oth­ers who are con­sid­er­ing in­stalling re­new­able sys­tems as they un­der­stand the ben­e­fit of get­ting first-hand per­spec­tives of peo­ples’ ex­pe­ri­ences in nav­i­gat­ing the process.

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