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October Update

Renewable Energy fair

At the end of October the Kirkhill Primary School hosted a Renewable Energy fair, supported with the Climate Challenge Funding. Several local organisations attended: Inverness College which has established Scotland’s first renewable energy training centre, Highland Birchwoods, a local charity encouraging the uptake of wood fuel systems and local firms AVC Energy, Begetube and Black
Isle Renewables. Staff from the local Energy Saving Scotland advice centre were also present and several community residents booked up free, impartial home visits to discuss which renewable energy systems would be most appropriate. We are grateful for these businesses and organisations making the time to attend. Senior pupils at the school have been working on energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and some of their work was also on display at the Fair.

Community Case Studies

As interest in renewable energy grows, there are an increasing number of community residents installing systems in their homes. For
some residents this has involved fitting new renewable energy systems to replace older electric or oil/LPG heating. For others it involves fitting renewable energy systems in their newly built house.  As building standards and energy prices rise, an increasing number of newly built houses are incorporating renewable energy systems as part of the heating mix. Several residents were happy to discuss experiences with their renewable energy systems so we have prepared a suite of case studies that highlight the pros and cons,
what went well and what didn’t.  We hope these are of interest and use.

 Solar Panels

Over the last year or so, I’ve received numerous flyers from companies offering to fit solar panels on my roof. By receiving a payment from the big energy companies for every unit of electricity produced by the panels, homeowners were getting some support to offset high purchase costs. The additional payments, added onto the reduced energy bills, meant the new solar systems were paid off in a reasonable period of time. Revisions to the support programme have now halved the payments received by homeowners installing any system after Dec 2011. If you are thinking about a solar PV system, a very simple calculator lets you see the benefits

Extra £400k pumped into Scottish home insulation scheme

An additional £400,000 is to be allocated into the Scottish government’s Universal Home Insulation (UHIS) loan fund to help more homeowners lower their energy bills and reduce emissions. Already £12.5 million has been invested in the scheme in September and the boost will see more households given interest free loans for extensive energy efficiency upgrades like renewable energy systems and new condensing boilers. It is also hoped that the additional funds will prevent more Scots from entering fuel poverty.