Now is the time to invest in renewable energy

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The long-awaited launch of the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) provides a fitting backdrop to the Natural Energy Show to be held at Thainstone Centre, Inverurie, on Saturday, September 14.

The day-long show, organised by Aberdeenshire Council and Home Energy Scotland (formerly the Energy Saving Scotland advice centre), will focus on the incentives available to

domestic householders and small businesses to switch to renewable sources of energy to cut heat and electricity bills.

The event has attracted around 30 exhibitors who will be demonstrating the range of renewable options available to householders to reduce heating and electricity costs.

The incentives available as part of the Scottish Government’s climate change policy which aims to meet targets of 100% electricity and 11% heat from renewable resources by 2020, will also be highlighted.

“There has never been a better time for householders and small businesses to consider switching to renewable energy,” said Chris Beaton, marketing manager, Home Energy

Scotland - North East.

“Attractive incentives have been available for some time to switch to a renewable source of electricity and the RHI, launched two years ago for industry, is now being extended to the domestic market.”

The UK Government announced on July 12 that the incentive scheme for domestic householders will open next spring with index-linked tax-free payments over seven years for eligible projects of 12.2p/kWh for biomass boilers, 19.2p/kWh for solar thermal panels, 18.8p/kWh for ground source heat pumps and 7.3p/kWh for air source heat pumps.

It is estimated that investment in a ground source heat pump for a three-bedroom house could yield a payment of as much as £19,740 over seven years and an air source heat pump £7665.

However, householders can take advantage of the Government’s Renewable Heat Premium Scheme – repayable over seven years through your electricity bill – to invest in renewable energy right away. This loan scheme will be available for all eligible domestic renewable energy installed between July 15 and next March.

“The premium scheme has made renewable energy much more affordable yet the uptake has been disappointingly low so far,” said Mr Beaton. “Investing for the long term in new

renewable technologies will mean cleaner energy and cheaper bills with householders saving more on their energy bills than they will have to pay back.”

Modern wood burning stoves and boilers are much more efficient than open fires in the hearth where up to 80% of the heat is lost. Wood fuel is now available as easily-handled chips or pellets, as well as logs, and prices are more stable than for oil or gas.

Experts will be on hand at the Natural Energy Show to give advice on all aspects of renewable energy, including costs and benefits, and a series of 10-minute seminars every half hour will discuss the incentives available in greater detail.

Entry to the show is free and ample free car parking is available. The show will take place on Saturday, September 14, and will be open from 10.00am to 4.00pm.

The following exhibitors will be taking part – Adheating, Fyvie; KDL, Kishorn; Richard Irvin Sustainable Energy, Aberdeen; My Eco Solution, Perth; Sugplumb, Lumphanan; BC

Solar, Old Rayne; Sylvan Stuart, Old Rayne; Emtec Group, Glasgow; SSE Energy Solutions,

Newbridge; BarRes, Inverness; DWR Architecture, Aboyne; Nextgenergy, Glenrothes; UKfm Group, Glasgow; Kalvis Boilers, Peterhead; Forster Energy Solutions, Brechin; SK

Environmental Engineers Ltd, Cornhill; Carden Consulting, Kingswells; AC Gold Energy, Stirling.

Electric cars – John Clark Nissan, Aberdeen; Peter Vardy Vauxhall, Aberdeen; Ness Motors, Renault, Inverness.