Surveyor from the 2050 grant scheme in the morning.
This guy looked like some aged hippy from back in the day! He’s had solar panels for 6 years and had a slightly manic look about him. One interesting fact from him… did you know that in 1970, the average internal temperature in the home was 15 degrees C, whereas now it’s 22 Degrees C?
Anyway… we are officially on the 2050 grant scheme! Someone apparently dropped out as they spent 3 months faffing about with quotes etc, then in the end said the internal insulation would cause too much disruption. The grant people were offering to pay for 75% of the work cost! It’s like saying here’s £4K, do you want it? No thanks, it’s too much hassle. Fair enough.
See my previous post about the 2050 grant.
Well, the guy says we’re on the scheme and this entitles us to a 75% grant for the external insulated render and also a 50% grant for solar PV panels! Brilliant. If we hadn’t signed up to the scheme, the funds would have gone to a Passiv House in Exeter! Everyone we’ve talked to wants to keep the funding for Gloucester, in Gloucester.
This means that the render will now cost £1,500, down from £7,500 (with another smaller grant also taken off) and the PV panels are now something like £4,500, down from £9,000. We got a quote and survey for the panels a year ago, with the cost coming out at roughly £6K per KW generated. The system we had designed was for 2 KW, meaning roughly £12K. Since then, prices have come down, due to demand, meaning that now it is only £4.5K per KW.
An average 3-bed semi would use something like 2.2 KW annually, so the 2 KW system is about right. The feed-in tariff of 41 pence per unit right now is amazing value and because of this, we will be able to sell each unit back to the grid for more than 4 times what we buy each unit for (roughly 9 pence). This means that the PV panels will be making us £700 per year + we will be getting all the electricity the panels generate for free.
So, in exchange for these huge grants, the Council wants to use us, but mainly the house, as an eco case study for renovations of a Victorian semi-detached. No problem. Most people live in older properties and the work we’re doing here will hopefully inspire other people in older properties to consider similar improvements.
So, James from Safestyle UK (windows) has also just left, after getting here at 6pm. We’ve just signed up for two new windows at the back of the house, one in the bathroom and one in the bedroom. They are technically “B Grade’ which is roughly 1.6 U-Value for the whole window and 1.36 at the centre. The lower the U-Value the better as this is a measurement of how much heat passes through the material, in this case two pains of glass and an Argon-filled air space. Current building regs specify 1.8 for a double glazed unit.
The idea is that the windows are installed on 8th November, then straight after, the render is installed. We’re still very hopeful we can afford the solar panels, and if we can, these can be installed at any point up to the end of the year (or at least signed up to or ordered). Given all this, the house will be insulated and powered. The income from the panels will be used to offset the cost of the loan we’re having to get to pay for most of this! We will also not be using as much electricity for heating, especially as we’re also selling our tumble dryer.