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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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    • CommentAuthorJoeSmith
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    Hi All

    Can anyone explain to me how these government funded/subsidised heating schemes work? I don't know if they're worth investigating. I've looked into a few but can't tell if they're genuine or not or whether we're going to qualify or if they're even available locally to us. There doesn't seem to be any consistency.

    We live in a G2 listed, cob, thatched house in Devon. We have an oil tank that feeds an old oil boiler that we're looking to replace and relocate. We also have single glazed wooden windows and half the loft space is insulated.
    I keep seeing adverts on social media and elsewhere for companies offering government funding for improving the situation with free insulation/ground source heat pump/windows etc or a contribution towards them. Of those I've contacted all that's happened is I've just been told there's nothing they can do because we're listed. Others seem to be dependent on our postcode or financial situation and some claim it doesn't matter where or who we are. We've even replied to a couple of ads for local "heating survey" people but neither of them have responded to anything.

    Is any of this worth looking into? We're going to replace the boiler with an oil combi boiler which isn't cheap but if the government are willing to contribute to something it'd be silly not to look into it. Can anyone give me any pointers?

    Many thanks in advance.
    Joe
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    They exist but you have to use registered contractors and my experience is that in so doing the costs double so may as well go it alone in your own time

    Must do in insulation can do windows, can do boiler you contribute 50% up to 10k then if it is more you pay 100% but get prices first
    • CommentAuthorrevor
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    You can get RHI for heat pumps amount varies with type though air to air does not qualify I do not think. Being in a listed building and the scope for improvement regulated, you won't probably be able to do a lot of insulation e.g wall and 2/3G, the loft insulation if you are handy enough you could do that yourself there may be insulation top up schemes available in your area but these are often only available to those on benefit or credits of some kind. So HP could be very beneficial. I hold the view that if you have a very energy efficient house your investment in a heat pump is questionable but in your situation you will be probably be using a lot of energy so you should get a decent RHI payment. I would look for an installer that has been around some time and specialises in HP and biomass and is MCS registered. Try searching the MCS register for those near you. Whenever new government schemes are about there are opportunist who see a way of making a quick buck and will look for the easy jobs.
    • CommentAuthorrevor
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    Should have mentioned that RHI may not be available after end of March won't be for commercial I do know.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    Posted By: JoeSmithWe live in a G2 listed, cob, thatched house in Devon.

    What are your floors made of? A heat pump would make a lot of sense as a replacement if you could lay UFH pipes instead of whatever you have at the moment (radiators?).
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    As Tony says, by the time you've used approved registered contractors and paid for any other upgrades to qualify, you may well be better doing it yourself.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    Its important to correctly size a heat pump. Large heat pumps are quite expensive and I am concerned some companies are providing optimistic figures for energy consumption in order to sell standard size units that people later find aren't powerful enough.

    How big is your Oil boiler (in kW) and do you know what percentage of the time the burner is running on a cold winters day ? Does it seem like it's running all the time? half the time? much less?

    Do you know how much oil you use over a typical winter?
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTime5 days ago edited
     
    The other thing to bear in mind is the relatively high cost of electricity (used to run a heat pump) compared to oil..

    This comparison site isn't perfect....

    https://nottenergy.com/resources/energy-cost-comparison/

    ..but they estimate an ASHP costs 7.19p/kWH vs 3.33p/kWH for oil/kerosene.

    In other words an ASHP currently costs more than twice what it costs to run an oil boiler having the same heat output.

    Its possible to argue you can buy electricity cheaper than they assume but they are one of the few sites around that provide this data.
    • CommentAuthorrevor
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: Mike1</cite>As Tony says, by the time you've used approved registered contractors and paid for any other upgrades to qualify, you may well be better doing it yourself.</blockquote>

    If you claim FIT you need MCS depends on what the ££ return is. I chose to fit solar thermal myself as the return there would not have been much and anyway as it was going into a thermal store would not have got it. As FIT may not be available for much longer the default position could be a DIY job.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    Posted By: revorAs FIT may not be available for much longer

    FIT closed to new applicants last April
    • CommentAuthorDonkey
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-the-renewable-heat-incentive-rhi-schemes/domestic-renewable-heat-incentive-rhi-regulations-minor-amendments

    We therefore intend to amend the RHI Regulations to relax this rule, by allowing installations with a commissioning date on or after 1 March 2019 to apply for accreditation to the RHI until the scheme closes to new accreditation applications on 31 March 2022.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    Yes, RHI and FIT are different.
    • CommentAuthorSimonD
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    Posted By: JoeSmithHi All

    Can anyone explain to me how these government funded/subsidised heating schemes work? I don't know if they're worth investigating. I've looked into a few but can't tell if they're genuine or not or whether we're going to qualify or if they're even available locally to us. There doesn't seem to be any consistency.

    Is any of this worth looking into? We're going to replace the boiler with an oil combi boiler which isn't cheap but if the government are willing to contribute to something it'd be silly not to look into it. Can anyone give me any pointers?

    Many thanks in advance.
    Joe


    Hello Joe,

    There's no question it's all a bit confusing. The current grant scheme that came into effect towards the end of last year was the Green Homes Grant Scheme. This was supposed to be in place until March this year but there's been loads of delays processing claims and a lot of contractors aren't signing up for the scheme because of the problems with implementing it. Others have been so inundated with work they can't keep up. Because of the demand the government recently extended the scheme until next year.

    You can check your eligibility for the scheme and what improvements you can make to your house at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-the-green-homes-grant-scheme

    If you use the scheme to install a heating system such as an air source heat pump, you can use the grant up to £5000 (I think?) to pay towards it and then you receive a proportionately reduced renewable heat incentive payment for the 7 year period.

    I tried to get quotes for an air source heat pump but only got one company got back. All very disappointing. Anyway, it be worth you having a look at the government's site and see what comes back for you.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    Usually only 50% contribution and some fabric improvements have to be carried out
    • CommentAuthorrevor
    • CommentTime4 days ago
     
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: djh</cite><blockquote><cite>Posted By: revor</cite>As FIT may not be available for much longer</blockquote>
    FIT closed to new applicants last April</blockquote>

    I actually meant RHI as per my first posting
  1.  
    The domestic RHI has been extended for installations up to 31st March 2022 and then will be replaced by a the Clean Heat Grant Scheme.
  2.  
    How handy are you? How much are you prepared to do yourself?

    Have you got the space for Ground Source Heat Pump ground loops? A paddock or any land? If you don't have the space for ground loops then you can drill a borehole in the garden but this is more expensive. Ground loops or a borehole in a field need planning permission, if they are in the curtilage they are Permitted Development.

    Underfloor Heating is the best match for a Heat Pump but the most disruptive, there are overlay systems but will increase floor levels a bit (and cost more) (also will need Listed Building Consent). A big dig out job with breathable limecrete floor system and UFH is doable and mostly labour, could increase comfort levels significantly (will need Listed Building Consent but should be agreeable to the Conservation Officer unless the existing floor covering is exceptional - the existing floor can be re-laid over the top if stone flags or quarry tiles etc., and keeps the cost down)

    If you can't face UFH then assuming you have radiators currently, these can be increased in size, singles to doubles, doubles to triples etc. and made longer if space allows. Heat Pumps work best at lower temps so need larger radiators. I would argue that this does not need LBC as there is no disruption to the fabric of the building (unless the radiators are so old as to be of heritage value themselves).

    Need to check carefully the requirement for the RHI - I'm not sure if the property needs to achieve a minimum EPC - I don't think it does (this might only apply with FIT for Solar PV) but you should aim to do as much improvement of insulation as you can over the years as time and funds permit, some of this will need Listed building Consent.

    Air Source Heat Pump will need Listed Building Consent, they might prefer the unit on an outbuilding rather than the house? Also I think it will need planning permission as well.

    Finally, because of the Listed Building please check everything with a Planning Consultant and don't just take the word of a supplier on any of it. There is no immunity from Enforcement with Listed Buildings after any amount of time.

    If you know a good plumber & electrician then some companies offer umbrella schemes for MCS compliance.

    To give you an idea of cost for a GSHP system you are looking at at least £12,000 if you do the groundwork yourself, plus whatever the plumber charges for installation. If you need a borehole or have to pay a company to do all of it, or need a much bigger heat pump then you could be looking at £18,000 - £25,000 or more. If you need a heat pump over say 14kW then you will need 3-phase electric supply as well.
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