Reducing Heating Oil Costs with Renewables

Micro-generation of renewable energy has been quietly gaining interest in the home improvement world, especially with Government support in the form of Feed-in Tariffs and Renewable Heat Incentives. It is important to understand the pros and cons of each type of renewable system in the context of your own home, and it could be an expensive mistake to install without taking proper advice. Making the right choice can prove a long-term cost saver, however, and you could see a significant reduction in your heating fuel bills.

An interesting case study to read is of Richard Collins, a farmer in Herefordshire. He has gone as far as installing four different types of renewable energy system in his farmhouse and farm offices, and along the way has learnt lots of lessons. He does claim that the systems are financially beneficial. The types of system installed are:

  • wood pellet boiler in a utility room in the farmhouse (saving at least £1500 per year on heating oil costs)
  • solar thermal panels on the farmhouse roof, for most of the family's hot water during the warmer months
  • solar pv panels on a barn roof, providing a good proportion of the farm's electricity
  • combi wood-pellet boiler installed in a farm office

All of this adds up to a lot of 'free' energy - although the capital outlay can be quite high, and with many years before the systems pay for themselves.

To read more about Mr Collin's experiences, see the Farmers Weekly article: Sizing up the renewable energy options by Paul Spackman. The very useful table from the article has been reproduced here.

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