Renewable power generation is no longer just for those green nuts who love anything with green or eco-friendly in the name. Green is now the new black when it comes to saving money and making money through energy.

Given that the UK is now a net importer of electricity due to the sheer enormity of the amount of electricity that is consumed each year, measures need to be taken, as a population, to reduce its use.

Energy traditionally has been created through a smattering of electric power generation plants situated around the UK. These consume coal, wood, gas or nuclear materials in the process of producing the electricity that we all rely upon. This creates a measurable amount of air pollution for each kilowatt of electricity that is made for distribution on the Grid and sadly is contributing to the ongoing problem of greenhouse gases & by extension, global warming.

Renewable Energy Installation Costs

Approved renewable energy sources for the home include hydroelectric, wind power, solar power and micro combined heat & power. Hydroelectric is prohibitively expensive and few people will choose this option.

Of the remaining three, wind power will suit home owners located in areas that receive a lot of wind conditions at different times through the year, and solar power will suit house or bungalow owners with large enough roofs.

A good hydroelectric system can cost upwards of £25,000. Micro combined heat & power cost around £5,000. Wind turbines come in small version that produce 1kW of power for about £2,000 & can be roof-mounted, and larger versions for ground installation that can produce 3 – 6kW of power at a cost of £15,000-22,000. Solar panels with a 3 – 4kW energy output can cost between £6,000-7,000.

Get The Finance?

A home improvement loan can pay for the green energy installation or a Green Deal loan is also possible for applicants who wish to consider a host of green improvements.

Be Quids In

A system that produces at least 2kWh of energy can usually power a home without the need to rely on the Grid energy supply (assuming a battery pack system is added to store unused energy for use in the evening & overnight).

With the Feed-in Tariff,

With the solar panels UK feed in tariff, a homeowner who adds renewable energy can be paid for each and every unit of electricity that is generated for them, regardless of how much of that electricity they consume themselves. Furthermore, any surplus can be sold to the Grid for use by other home owners and a tariff payment is made for that too.

Tariff rates fell in 2013, but are still quite good. The rates per unit generated does vary depending on exactly what renewable energy was installed and the capacity of the system.

Wind turbines, for instance, used to receive either 28p or 35.8p per unit (depending on system capacity), but this was recently reduced to 31p. Solar power systems suffered only slight drops in the tariff payment and still pay either 13.99p or 15.44p for different capacity systems. Any surplus energy sold to the Grid is compensated with at the 4.5p per kWh rate too.

Over 20 years, these payments can add up to more than £12,000, for a system that may cost about £7,000 to install. A reasonable return to home owners, whilst doing the right thing for the environment.