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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    • CommentAuthorsl638e
    • CommentTimeAug 25th 2014
    I'm thinking of adding solar thermal under the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, but the question is how to get started.

    It looks like we have to begin by getting an Energy Performance Certificate and a Green Deal assessment, and we may need some additional loft insulation to qualify for the scheme (borderline at the moment).

    A search for assessors in the area brings up 90 results, some being companies I know already and don't fully trust.

    The question is how to select a reliable company from these - one which will give me useful info and not try to sell me anything inferior. Does anyone have any tips on this?

    Would you search for providers who install solar thermal, for example, or would you look for an independent assessor who isn't tied to any products or services?

    Alternatively, would it be better to approach companies who install solar (and who come recommended to me) but who don't have any connection to the Green Deal scheme? I guess they might be able to put me in touch with people who can do the assessment, even though they don't offer it themselves.

    Btw I don't expect that we will want to take up a green deal loan, although I'm not ruling it out. I'm only following that route in order to qualify for RHI.

    Any help appreciated!
    • CommentAuthorpmusgrove
    • CommentTimeAug 26th 2014
    Is it a new build or a retrofit?
    • CommentAuthorsl638e
    • CommentTimeAug 26th 2014
    Retrofit. We already have solar PV, but thermal didn't seem worth it at the time when we renovated the house four years ago. RHI makes it seem more viable, especially as we fitted a large hot water tank and compatible boiler to cater for that possibility in future.
    Have you thought about fitting an Immersun device if you already have PV, cheaper and easer than solar thermal
    • CommentTimeAug 28th 2014 edited
    I would go for an Immersun or similar device too since you already have solar PV. We had our solar thermal installed and are receiving £432 per annum RHI payment for 7 years now. So we will receive £3024 having spent about £4100 for the panels plus tank.
    It certainly depends on the size of the panels. We have a 4m2 system with a declared net capacity of 2100KW, which is the figure used for working out the RHI payment.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2015
    Hi Sl638e,
    How did you get on with the Green Deal Assessment?

    The EPC (£50), I can see the point of but what extra does the GDA give for the extra £100-150:confused:
    • CommentAuthorPaul_B
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2015
    Are the PV shaded at crucial parts of the day? If so solar thermal might make sense as they are less prone to the impact of shading (PV shading impacts the entire array unless you have micro-inverters) I'm considering using both PV and ST because I have a my main roof slope is East and West with the East receiving dappled shade in the morning from a large Oak. My intention is to use ST for the bottom of the roof and PV above.

    • CommentAuthorDarylP
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2015 edited

    The GDA (Green Deal Assessment) is a part of the whole RHI/GD application process...:cry:
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2015 edited
    Yes Daryl that's what I discovered and I fail to see it's use. Here's how I see it, simplistic maybe, and possibly wrong:-

    1. Government decides on RHI
    2. Common sense I guess, demands some form of check on premises etc..
    3. They hand that process to a commercial company whose very existence is to sell their product/service.
    4. They then make their visit a condition of application.
    5. In effect they condone the "foot in your door" of these biased companies.

    So the question is: What do they do, that an independent EPC assessor/surveyor for £50 doesn't, apart that is from trying to flog you their product or finance.
    owlman, you can use an independent Green Deal advisor/assessor too, there is quite a few of us out there. Most of the GDA's are independent and are only suggesting improvement measures in general terms.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2015
    You must be fortunate in your area Claus.
    The energy saving advice service gave me a list of 75 GDAs for my area the vast majority of which were companies or organisations also selling solar, biomass, ASHP, GSHP or finance. I looked at one independent GDA on the list who wanted £200. Some of the business linked ones were £150 with a suggestion that it could be waived if you bought a product from them.
    It appears to me that anyone savvy enough to claim RHI is probably fairly familiar with the newer technologies above. As for the energy saving measures, well, doesn't the independent EPC assessor do that, like I said, for £50. :confused:
    • CommentAuthorDarylP
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2015

    The DEA and GDA is a the bottom of a rather unpleasant food chain, with the likes of BG and TP at the top.
    Very few GDAs are independent as you have found, because there is very little work for then, who wants to pay for a truly independent GDAssessment?

    The whole system has been organised around the big companies who claimed they could provide the CO2 savings in bulk.

    Yes, the EPC will list energy saving measures, and a savvy/independent DEA can advise you properly.

    But the whole RHI/GD is a money making exercise....for those at the top!:angry:
    • CommentAuthorMikel
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2015
    Hmmmm! Looks like there are some problems here.

    See http://energyassessormagazine.com/shock_report_reveals_gdar_problems.html
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2015
    Oh dear, they may find out that my house is half the size now.
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