Rushcliffe Solar

Rushcliffe Solar started as a Transition West Bridgford campaign to encourage greater use of Photovoltaic home power generation systems in Rushcliffe borough, but we are always willing to answer an enquiry from other towns in the region. There are many buildings and entire streets with roofs which have a good view of the Sun and could produce power for the Grid and Income for the occupants. Hit the You Enquire tab to get a free appraisal of the photovoltaic potential for your building. Email:
If you are thinking about it, do not be put off by recent changes in the tariff!: Since April 2012, the tariff was reduced to 21 pence/unit and ones on poorly insulated buildings get only 9 pence/unit. There have been further reductions since. Use the Expertsure calculator to check out your house and see if it is still worth doing.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Support for the Feed in Tariff

30 Sept '10: DNC writes: It's unfortunate that the Coalition government, having promised to be "Greener than Gordon Brown's government" have allowed rumours to grow and destabilize our confidence in the Feed in Tariffs.

If you are an early adopter, and installed PV before July 2009, they will not retro-engineer the FiT, so the best deal going seems to be with Good Energy. GE will continue to pay microgenerators on its HomeGen scheme who had their systems installed before 1st February 2010, and aren't eligible for the higher FiT rate. This amounts to15p per unit generated until April 2011, 5 times the amount that other utilities will pay. I don't know if this applies to you if you join them now, because initially, it seems to be a loyalty payment for those who have been with GE for a while. For my system they kept their word and sent me payment at 15p a unit for the period Oct 2009 to April 2010.

Please join the website group and send the emails to Chris Huhne and others, to make sure that there is no regressing on the Feed in Tariffs. To me, there is a fair case for reviewing the original FIT idea on other systems such as Biomass and Heat Pumps, as it was hard to quantify the income and earnings. With PV, there is an OfGem meter, and the amounts generated and the amounts imported through the house meter are completely clear, and are very difficult to falsify, so there should be no altering of this scheme. Flexibility is built into the existing scheme by their ability to tweak todays's figure of 41.3p, so it would be better to let that scheme continue. Home generators are, collectively, reducing the need for power stations to be burning Columbian coal or imported oil or gas, so are good for the country as a whole, making use more energy independent.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Insulation meeting on 19 Oct

Eco adaptation isn't only about putting PV roofs up and fitting heat pumps. The NUMBER ONE and TWO things are to
  • improve insulation! and to 
  • control draughts!
Please come to a meeting at South Notts College (Ruddington site) 19th October for a good presentation and discussion about these. One of the guest speakers will be David Hill of Carbon Legacy, a sponsor of Rushcliffe Solar.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Nottingham Evening Post features Rushcliffe Solar

28 Sept '10: Many thanks to the Nottingham Evening Post (and Jon Robinson) for a well written article on the Rushcliffe Solar project.

Quite often when you see something about you written in the media, you are grinding your teeth at the inaccuracies, but Jon is an experienced writer on environmental matters and has written it perfectly. I am glad to see that he got a comment there from a member of Rushcliffe BC.

So, congratulations to Jon on a good write up, and I have only one small addition which is to add that people wishing to get a free PV survey from Rushcliffe Solar should use the website and leave their details on the ENQUIRE Tab above.
The Evening post also writes a very pleasing Editorial piece, many thanks!
Rushcliffe Solar is a Photovoltaic campaign jointly initiated by Rushcliffe BC, Transition West Bridgford, Energy Saving Trust and University of Nottingham, with subsequent sponsorship by ten solar installers.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rushcliffe will be a power generator!

27 Sept '10: Councils can Create & Sell Electricity: when the Feed in Tariff came in, it was for householders, institutions and businesses, but somehow Local Authorities were not allowed to take part. This seemed anomalous as they have many many roofs in their ownership - the prime purpose of the legislation would seem to have been to reduce power generation transmission losses from distant fossil fuel power stations by local generating. So why where LAs not included?

Chris Huhne as part of the Coalition Government removed the ban - so that Councils are now able to generate electricity for sale to the grid.

In the light of this at the first available Council Meeting, Lib Dem Councillor Rod Jones proposed at a Council meeting on 23rd Sept: "in the light of the decision of the Secretary of State for Energy to remove the ban on Councils selling renewable energy, this Council recognising its scope from land and premises to produce energy from wind, solar, ground source and other sources, will review as soon as is practicable, the available options and the associated costs and income in the long term."

Well it is good news that this was approved!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ship of the Sun, producing 4x its energy!

18 Sept: The SonnenSchiff development near Freiburg, Germany is amazing:

It is designed by Architect Rolf Disch. With Passivhaus standards for the houses and far more than 4 kilowatt roofs on all, it is claimed to be generating 4 times its required energy needs. The design seems to be taking it to extremes for some, but I would certainly like to live there!
If you read the page, there are some interesting comments following up the article. And there are many more photos, and plans.

Nottingham City investment in Solar power

18 Sept '10: Nottingham Evening Post reports that Nottingham City Council is to make a major investment in Solar electricity by installing PV panels on hundreds of houses. See the link.
  The power generated will go into the Grid, and will save the residents a large proportion of their fuel bills. There will be other extensions of their investments in district heating and green power, including getting power from food scraps and garden waste.
  It is a ten year strategy. See the article for more detail.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Lifestyle 'load shifting'

4 Sept: There is a longer article on the Charging the Earth blog about lifestyle shifting - the idea that you do a 'reverse Economy 7', you shift your highest use of electrical items to the peak power output of your PV roof - using washing machine etc during the middle of the day. There can be a beneficial saving over the year if you run your house this way.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Good Energy Case Study - published!

2 Sept: DNC writes: wow! I am really happy that Good Energy (renewables-based electricity supplier) have written a case study about the PV roof on my house and the research on the Sunbox project.
See the Greenenergyrepublic Page
Although their main focus is on solar electricity, it's generous of them to give so much space to the Sunboxes project.

Welcome to Team UK renewables

2 Sept : Welcome to Team UK Renewables, the final company we have signed up as sponsor-installers for Rushcliffe Solar. TUR are a startup company in 2010, so will be very keen to give you a good deal.
Roy Redhead is your contact 0845 901 1663, and the company specialises in Photovoltaic panels and Air Source Heat pumps. He is based in West Bridgford (as far as we know) so no great distance to travel for surveys.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Metering is a way to save energy

It is amazing how the simple act of storing your meter readings can save energy. Somehow, the competitive instinct kicks in, and you try harder to get a lower meter reading than the week or day before - result is that you save energy! It isn't just about the design of the house or its boiler or insulation - energy saving is also linked to lifestyle.

It is worth doing the metering record for Electric, Gas, and even Water if that is on a meter. If you have a PV roof, it is essential so you can calculate your payback! You can compare it with the amount you have to import.

There is a more detailed article about this on the WB Ecohouses blogsite. See the Metering Page on there. It also contains tips on how to convert your Gas to kWh.

If you want an XLS file with the simple algorithm for calculating dates and times and day number, write to - otherwise just build your own one a day to day or week to week basis, and you will see how the house and how you perform.

Location - check your location