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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.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

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    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeMar 25th 2015
    What ho,

    When we were building, I was investigating PV but decided that the money needed to be spent on the house and PV could be added later. As a result of those investigation, I have received a 'cold (ish)' call from Green Energy Electrical. With an ISA maturing and reinvestment rate of 1.6%, perhaps PV would be a better investment?

    Salesman trying to sell me 3kWh of PV for either £10k cash or £16k with a Barclays loan which will be paid back by the FIT over X years. Both prices are a 'how stupid do you think I am' figure. Surprisingly, that price has now reduced to £7k and this morning, because of an order 'cock-up' we have 'surplus panels and can supply them, installed inc VAT for £6500.'

    They are offering Canadian Solar panels, En-Phase micro inverters, a Solar iBoost for immersion heating and a voltage optimizer. My research tells me that I don't' need the VO but open to hearing opinions.

    However, does anyone have any experience of Green Energy Electrical, based in Brentwood, Essex?

    From what I can find out, Canadian Solar, En-Phase and Solar iBoost are well respected brands.

    One other item that I don't quite understand, their price includes installation, in my case on a single story, flat garage roof, but it also includes installation on a normal, two story pitched roof. Installation costs cannot be the same.

    Any comments would be greatly received.

    Toodle Pip

    • CommentAuthorbillt
    • CommentTimeMar 25th 2015
    On the basis that they are using double glazing sales tactics (and are still over priced) I wouldn't touch them with a bargepole.

    Try and find personally recommended installers and get quotes from them, should be much more competitive.

    Yes, voltage optimisers are a waste of money.

    Unless you have serious shading issues, I wouldn't use micro inverters. One of the UK distributors went bust recently, Enecsys I think. The distributor goes bust and an inverter fails it can start getting costly, especially if you need scaffolding to access the roof to change an inverter. A standard inverter is usually installed in an accessible place and can be easily changed - for another type if necessary.

    I doubt that there will be much difference in installation costs unless you have a particularly difficult roof. Flat roof mounting system might be a bit more costly than pitched roof, but installation time could be less.
    • CommentTimeMar 25th 2015
    Just block their number, they are trying it on.

    Posted By: billtOne of the UK distributors went bust recently, Enecsys I think
    Seems they have:

    I like micro inverters, but never once specified them for the reasons above. Luckily Inverters are free of MCS control, so you can go and buy your own.
    During my short time in the industry, I failed to see any real advantage between module manufacturers. There was a slight difference between technologies (mono, poly, thin-film), but so slight as to really make no difference in reality.

    Purely from an academic viewpoint, if you fit PV you loose your capital, there is not much value in a second hand PV. Your ISA on the other hand does allow you to access your capital at any time if needed, and the interest is tax free (but any interest up to £1000pa is tax free now anyway).
    So if you got a PV system for £4000 and it is trouble free for 20 years, then you have to take the £200 (and any interest it could have earned) of your FITs payments. You could also get more than 1.6% from a normal current account.
    • CommentAuthorwoodgnome
    • CommentTimeMar 25th 2015
    So, is it better to put your 4 grand in the bank for 20 years or install PV?
    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeMar 25th 2015

    Thanks for the input. I do agree that money in the bank is accessible for those unforeseen occasions, and I do have one these days as I need a dental implant. Don't think the dentist would accept a FIT payment in lieu.

    Which is one reason why I have not done anything for a number of years.

    Would also agree that their sales technique is like the double glazing / soffit replacement. I kind-of like winding them up. The young guy got quite miffed when I said that I was not interested in the Powerpoint presentation as I was sure it would tell me what he already had.

    The other thing that gives me the hebbie jebbies is that the folder he left has some interesting, professionally printed flyers but their own stuff is low quality, off an inkjet printer on regular printer paper and looks it.

    Think I will turn this once in a lifetime deal down. Haven't felt the need for it in the past four years so can continue to live without. Not a very environmental viewpoint but ...........! My house has 3g, UFH, MVHR and 18 cms of Warmcell insulation, so environmentally speaking, I'm not breaking my heart.

    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeMar 25th 2015
    If you try hard you should be able to get a 4kWp system for 5k or less. This will pay back nicely but as they say you done see the money again. I would fit pv, likely you will be quids in if you stay there and after FiT finishes you still get the electricity and the export money. Return should be 6 to7%.
    Should be looking at under £800 per kw so your cold call is a rip off merchant.
    as above £5-6k for 4kWp system from the many straight up companies fitting PV out thier.
    The company you mentioned appear to be profiteers. I'd like to leave an unpleasant parcel on their doorstep ;-p
    As to whether to ISA or PV your money I'd say get PV
    It's far more fun than an ISA :-) anyone can earn money and spend it on a fancy car, pfff boring!
    on another note, 30 years on from Esther Ransom and the various bogger builder programs in the media
    how come these type of sale techniques are still employed
    Are their truck loads of new suckers being bussed in for these guys ???
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2015
    Posted By: jamesingramAre their truck loads of new suckers being bussed in for these guys ???
    Yes, one born every minute and they have a wallet.
    • CommentAuthorthe souter
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2015
    'Double-glazing sales tactics' is spot on. Back in the heady days of 45p a kw/h, I was initially quoted £17500 for a 3.25 kw/h system, by a former DG company. This 'operated at a higher efficiency than other systems', so was great value. Apparently. I moved on and paid £5400 for a 3.25 kw/h set-up, A-frame on flat roof, three years ago. Connected to Immersun, gives most hot water from now until autumn.

    Micro generation is a very satisfying thing, which our growing family are engaging with, responding to the elements, taking an interest in CO2, etc. Also, it compliments your homes' low energy design emphasis.
    If the justification is financial, do the maths. What is the current FIT for PV? What would 12 panels generate in your location? Etc, etc
    • CommentAuthoratomicbisf
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2015
    That's still an expensive quote. If you've only been quoted for 3kWp I'm assuming you have limited roof space.

    I've recently been quoted either £5995 for a 4kW system comprising 12x BenQ 330W panels or £4895 for 4kW made up of 14x BenQ or Seraphim 285W panels.

    As you can see the higher efficiency panels are more £/W.

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