Green energy solutions for urban households

By Jared Sneath of Green Square

Many rural homeowners across the UK are already off grid so their decision to switch from oil or LPG to a green, and significantly cheaper alternative, is often a complete no-brainer. What’s more, many of these households have large outside spaces and greater living areas to house different options of renewable energy technology, but what about urban households where space is limited inside and out?

With renewable energy it’s usually not a ‘one size fits all’ solution, however, for those living in inner cities there are options emerging as the front runners for the typical urban home.

In London, where many properties are older, badly insulated, have chimneys, loft space, are two bedroomed, and are either semi-detached or terraced there are two very good choices when looking to reduce carbon footprint.

What’s important to know is that last year the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) introduced the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) a scheme which pays participants who are using renewable energy to heat their homes. Depending on the technology installed, the domestic RHI pays varying tariffs per kWh over seven years.

For homeowners wanting to benefit from the RHI, the best green option for them comprises biomass stove, solar thermal panels and a thermal store. The benefits for this combination are as follows:

The biomass stove uses pellets which are easy to store when space is of a premium. The stove is not only aesthetically pleasing and can be used as a modern focal point for a room but also in the cooler months it provides the heating and hot water for the home. Biomass stoves use built in hoppers which automatically feed the carbon neutral pellet fuel they burn this is a very quick, simple and clean process which would only take a minute or two each day during mid-winter, and much less in Spring and Autumn.

Installing the solar thermal panels means that the water for the house is heated for free throughout the summer without having to use the stove at all. What’s more, opting for solar thermal panels means the average house will only need two panels installed on the roof.

Combining the two green technologies with a thermal store is the solution to multi-fuel heating. The store is a way of optimising the technologies you have installed and it manages the renewable heat generated until it is needed.

For the non-incentivised option, urban homeowners are utilising the gas boiler they already have installed and opting for a wood burning stove. The wood boiler stove needs timber manually loaded onto it to heat the water so requires regular attention and maintenance, unlike the biomass stove. The gas boiler is there for back up when the homeowner doesn’t want to use anything else for the home’s energy needs.

A great time to integrate green technology into a home is when it is under refurbishment. However, it is still good news for homeowners who want to fit green technology as an installation will take on average only three to four days, so any disruption will be minimal.

Even though these options are emerging as the front runners for green urban living, remember it really isn’t a one size fits all solution. Do contact an expert to explore the plethora of products available and what really is best for your home, large or small. And remember, the most important choice to make is going green in the first place and any financial benefits are an added bonus in an ever increasing utility bill market.

For more information about home energy technology visit or call 0845 263 7474.

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