Great Solar Product Shame About The Budget

New solar thermal panels end stagnation with unique, automated ‘temperature shutdown’ coating

The word stagnation brings anybody involved with solar thermal shudder, frankly the shudder is twofold with regard to heat issues and also UK government having a total inability to keep to its promises. The budget favours nuclear power and not catching rays from the sun.


Christian Engelke, Viessmann technical director pictured above.

Going back a decade the solar thermal industry had a simple grant scheme backed by the Low Carbon Buildings Programme and then it was scrapped at the time of the crash and we all had to wait for RHI to replace the LCB-Programme. Now RHI and solar thermal have parted company.

It seems as though the thermal ship has sailed just as Viessmann decide it is time to bring the UK market a new solar thermal flat panel that ends the problem of overheating and stagnation and sets a new standard for solar system efficiency and reliability.

The Viessmann Vitosol 200-FM collector features ThermProtect, a patented “intelligent” absorber layer coating that, through temperature-dependent change in its crystal structures, adjusts automatically to changes in sunlight and heat absorption.

Traditional flat panel solar thermal collectors can be prone to steam production due to stagnation, which in turn leads to heat transfer medium degradation. This can be an issue in spring or summer when excess heat from the sun cannot always be used and the panels’ temperature rises. ThermProtect rejects the excess heat back to the environment.

“While there are practical and mechanical ways to design solar systems so that solar thermal stagnation is limited, overheating has been a bug bear to the solar industry,” says Christian Engelke, Viessmann technical director.  “ThermProtect on the Vitosol 200-FM is a significant milestone in eradicating this issue and furthers Viessmann, already in the solar thermal market for over 40 years, as a pioneering manufacturer. It makes solar a more attractive proposition for installers and homeowners for whom oversizing is no longer an issue. They can now benefit from a much more reliable renewable technology to add to their homes. We hope this development increases the take-up of solar thermal in the UK.”

Flat plate collector with intelligent absorber layer


The patented coating, developed by Viessmann in partnership with Nancy University, France, prevents further energy absorption when the plate reaches a certain temperature. The absorber coating is based on the principle of “intelligent layers”. The coating’s structure changes depending on the collector temperature. Above an absorber temperature of 75 °C the coating increases its emitting of incoming solar radiation and in effect ‘shuts down’.


Nancy University, France Source Wikipedia.

If the temperature of the collector falls below 75 ° C, the structure of the coating will return to its original state and 95 per cent of the incoming solar energy is absorbed and converted into heat.

The change of the coating’s structure occurs unlimited times and means that the flat panel is never at risk of stagnation.

I love it but wonder if it will ever see the light of day (excuse the pun) and we can only live in hope for some sort of subsidy to help the industry back on its feet.

This manufacturer might sell EUR 2 billion but sadly not much of this comes from UK solar sales and its a shared effort from 120 global offices.


Star Renewable Energy Reveals World’s Largest Industrial Air Source Heat Pump to Retrofit High-Rise Buildings

Glasgow-based firm Star Renewable Energy threw open its doors to unveil its revolutionary air source heat pump (ASHP) – the Neatpump – to the world, as part of the International 2016 Low Carbon Heat & Water Conference and Showcase.
Guests attending the event had a rare opportunity to see the revolutionary air source “Neatpump” in action under test conditions, at a facility where, coincidentally, the new series of Robot Wars is currently being filmed. While Star Renewable Energy’s innovation doesn’t involve flamethrowers or pneumatically powered axes, the system certainly proved to be of great interest to customers and suppliers within the low carbon heating sector, with a reverse cycle hot gas defrost and active control system designed to maximise uptime and efficiency.8b5a9449abebb57a_800x800ar

Mr Pearson said, “A clean air, decarbonised society in 2035 will need heatpumps capable of retrofit, not just other ways of burning stuff. We are thrilled to be able to show attendees exactly what it can do for them and their businesses.”

With temperatures of up to 65 degrees C and 700 KW, the air source heat pump provides 3 units of heat for each unit of energy consumed and can be used to retrofit large buildings as well as new buildings and industrial processes.

The air source development, which has been integrated with a district heating design, is the latest in a long line of innovations that have been brought to life by the joint thinking of a team of experts from Star Renewable Energy, Glasgow Housing Association (GHA), British Gas and consultants WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff.

The air source development is currently being tested under real weather conditions outside Star’s factory and has been confirmed to exceed modelling performance targets.

Pearson said, “Extensive modelling and real-life testing have demonstrated that the high temperature air source heatpump can deliver effective and affordable heating to existing social housing with the result of a 53% drop in carbon footprint – dropping even further as the grid decarbonises.”

“The impact will be a generation of cleaner, lower cost heating for households.”

As one of the largest social landlords in the UK, GHA focused on lower costs, lower carbon solutions for their customers, and drove the initial assessment process. British Gas brought their design, project management and commercial skills in to deliver an innovative “wet system” design, which, when put in conjunction with SRE’s pioneering design, has been proven to break temperature and efficiency barriers. Engineering consultants from WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff recognised that utilising low district heating temperatures would be the key to success, and, with their system modelling expertise, developed a fully integrated system design to maximise heat pump efficiency and deliver effective heating within the practical constraints of retrofitting to existing housing stock.

The GHA will also lead the deployment project once the heatpump has been fully tested and is ready to be despatched.

Robert Kilpatrick, an Assistant Director (Development & Operations) of University of Strathclyde Glasgow, who witnessed the testing of the large air source heatpump, said, “I think it goes without saying that heatpumps are starting to offer a different type of solution to tackle carbon reduction on a large scale for generating heat, so, it’s a fantastic new development here which compliments the water source heat pumps that Star have already had some achievement on – well done to them.”

The Neatpump air source heatpump is part of an affordable, low carbon heating solution developed to meet decarbonisation targets without the cost, complexity and constraints associated with many renewable energy systems. It doesn’t need fuel deliveries or constant attendance and has minimal environmental impact.

Star Renewable Energy has been at the forefront of innovation in the world of renewable heating since 2009, when parent company Star Refrigeration launched a range of high efficiency “natural working fluid” heatpumps – a move which was the first step in creating the award winning Neatpumps.
For more information about the Air Source and Water Source Heatpumps – Neatpumps – visit the Star Renewable Energy

Astrid Prado
PR & Marketing Manager
Star Refrigeration
Thornliebank Industrial Estate
G46 8JW
T: 0044 (0) 141 638 7916

About Star Refrigeration
 Established in 1970, Star Refrigeration say they lead the way in natural refrigeration 
 and heating technology.
 Working closely with its customers, the company strive to offer a comprehensive range of cost effective, eco-friendly and socially responsible heating and cooling solutions to suit a variety of different business needs.

Looking back and just hoping for that bright 2014

Dear Solarpreneur,

As we wind down in the spot between Christmas & New year, it allows time to look back and forward as we enjoy our well earned rest we can cast our mind back a year to the last and even a little before that

Imagine you are making world leading renewable energy products in 50 countries and each one had an MCS type scheme at a cost of say £50,000... for this reason MCS does prevent sales
We hope RHI works but know some world leading renewable energy companies have products in 50 countries and if each one had an MCS type scheme at a cost of say £50,000… for this reason MCS does prevent great companies from entering the UK
“Renewables are now the fastest growing energy source on the planet. And I am proud that Britain has played a leading role at the forefront of this green energy revolution” 
David Cameron, Prime Minister, 10 Downing Street
Published 26 April 2012

Our Prime Minister did lots on his runway into 10 Downing Street, a trip to the Arctic, a drive in a Gee-Wiz, eco-friendly electric car, even a ride to work by (he did have his driver following in a car) bicycle and even in office he said the coalition administration is to be recognised as “the greenest government ever.”

This year we all put our head in our hands with one of the red top newspapers claiming a senior Tory spokesman told them that the Prime Minister said

“We’ve got to get rid of all this green crap.”
Nov 21, 2013 – The Sun reporter

It might be the spokesman said it but our Prime Minister does not strongly deny using the phrase, saying only that he doesn’t recall using it’ and I suggest this man is not being straight.

When can we change how the country is run I challenge the system as our ministers are thoroughly disreputable, slippery and seem to conduct things with an air of self-entitlement.

Looking at this as a business sector makes me awaken to a BIG lesson, never put your livelihood into the hands of a business that relies on government handouts.. actually it was not I that spotted this my old pal Les Armitage at Gardener Riley who made comment when I got involved  (in the days of the Low Carbon Building Programme) with Solar Thermal back in 2008.

The solar industry will make itself prosperous but frankly that is down to the solarpreneur’s in the UK and not the madness by UK government.

If the FiT was made to work around the real price of solar and not the under the table dumped priced from China we would all be better off and have true green manufacturing base.

“A 30% drop in the unit price of European solar panels since the start of 2012 had left Wrexham’s output uncompetitive in the UK”
Express & Star, December 16, 2013 Sharp Company CEO Hiroshi Sasaoka

My thoughts as well as best wishes for the future go out to the 615 families (who have family who worked at Sharp) in the Wrexham area.

“There is no comparison to the position of solar now to the industry that I found when I came into office in May 2010,” 
Business Green, December 16 2013 Gregory Barker Climate Change Minister

Losing a UK solar panel factory came 16 December 2013 after electronics firm Sharp announced plans to cease production at its facility in Wrexham, North Wales.

Just the same day a comment came from Climate Change Minister Greg Barker taking the glory for how Great Solar Britain was, a few days before Christmas, 615 people without jobs in one go, only two years ago Barker was solar enemy number one and Supreme Court judges eventually ruled against the government, but the cuts to the tariffs

To all but Mr Barker (who is a little slow) the simplest concepts get mixed up, the responsibility for 615 people explaining to their families that it will be tough Christmas, is due to the mindless action of Barker, along with his pals at STA (UK Solar Trade Association) CEO Paul Barwell and PV Specialist Ray Noble when they joined our UK Energy Minister Greg Barker and Government officials in Brusselss and backed China having no duty.

Instead we saw a minimum selling price and that is like a man with an extra pair of testicles (too much bollocks), the minimum selling price was allegedly fake, as the big buyers are apparently getting big rebates. So they buy a China minimum price and get a cheque in the post!

My bet is that these 615 families would say it was wrong and the minister in question is possibly guilty of being disreputable, some might say slippery and even acting with an air of self-entitlement. Don’t take my word for it as you had better ask these solar workers for yourself.

Meanwhile those of us in the EU PV supply chain watch the tumbleweed rolling across the sales office floor.

When EU trade law says that the adequate measure on dumping is to impose tariffs and they have to be designed to eliminate the injury to the European industry caused by the dumping.

You will find an agreement such as minimum pricing is allowed (only) if the injury will also be eliminated and you would be best asking 615 families in Wrexham for their thoughts.

One of my highlights of the year was Jeremy Paxman and his grilling of Greg Barker on last months Newsnight.

The question… Is the Green Deal failing?
The biggest failure in home improvements since WORLD WAR II and you can watch it here,it’s well worth it In my opinion Barker schmoozed his way out by including ECO measures to the poor, so spoke about giving away boilers & the like and not Green Deal loans as such.

After all who in Mr Barker’s Department drew up that bureaucratic load of nonsense? In reality “The Green Deal” is a great idea ruined by the never run a (couldn’t run a business) politicians and civil servants. There are lots of loans available far cheaper than 7 percent and that is just one reason we have a multi-billion pound flop on our hands.

From 2014, we will revert back to ECOBODS and with red faces — disassociate ourselves/myself as the company name Limited seemed a great idea at the time but lost its sparkle and is despatched to my room 101 of near misses.

Not my only near miss! Starting an Anglo German PV and Thermodynamic range was another entrepreneurial flop… in the world of solar casino, I put my money on black and it came in red. Hey ho — that’s life!

I will dine out on the solarprenurial  hash for quite sometime but still think about the (indirectly) thousands of people badly affected by Sharp Wrexham closing and how they will never work in solar manufacturing ever again.

Also at this time I think of Eric, you might well ask “Eric who the heck is Eric?”
Let me tell you about Eric as he typifies many of the solar casualties, at the end of a report in Solar Power Portal is a lone wolf commenting and we’ll call him Eric because  Eric is his name.

As much as solar PV has changed the landscape for renewables, the FIT policy that was introduced in 2010, that only supported PV, destroyed my solar thermal water heating business and now at 66, I have nothing left after 13 years to pay off my mortgage
Its a sad situation for both the job losses in Wales in an industry that should be booming as my business was also planned to be.
This country has a start and stop policy in energy and will one day cost us all billions to put right 
Solar Power Portal 20 December 2013 Eric


Frankly the UK has many Eric’s and they all started with the best of intention and got the green rug pulled very firmly from under their feet.

Mr Barker is not on his own when the occupier of 11 Downing Street has also been knocking the world of green business in th UK!

“Britain should not be in front of the rest of the world in tackling climate change”
September 28 2013 -The Times reporter  George Osborne 

Not all doom and gloom!
Solar Power Portal say

Over 495,000 homes across the UK are now solar powered, according to the latest statistics published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

The week ending 15 December saw 10.88MW of capacity added to the grid, lifting the total number of <50kW installs under the feed-in tariff to 495,459. Almost 96% of those installs are in the sub 4kW domestic sector

This kind of result comes from solarprenuers like you, working hard and using the tools they have.

Lower margins, China modules, ethical selling and better marketing are all down to you… DECC did little more than confuse policy and you should have a pat on the back.

Also great is that there are now over 700 ground-mount projects above 250kW in size, of which approximately 30% have been fully completed until now. Over 480 ground-mount projects therefore fall into the project pipeline, with the capacity of these projects now exceeding 4GW.
As the year comes to a close, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank you,  for your continued commitment to experiencing the difference with our powerful products and solutions.

I’ve learned a lot from your feedback this year, and from the countless meetings and workshops we have conducted. I’ve learned that you’re leaders in your industry. Your innovation is both groundbreaking and wave-making. I’ve learned that giving the best deal to your client is your #1 priority.

With domestic RHI coming in 2014, I hope that our heat pumps and solar thermal products will improve the way you do business next year. I hope that our around-the-clock support team has impressed you with their knowledge and friendliness.

I hope that our company’s finance support team improved when you offered clients funding.

We hope that you’ve taken advantage of our Leadership Kai Zen days and free marketing advice. If not, I hope you’ll get involved in the new year, and I look forward to hearing your feedback.

It has been pleasure once more to work with you and we are adding some of the most powerful services for you in 2014 and I will keep you posted

Do reply and let us know how we are doing?
Or follow the blog or Tweet on Twitter

Right now we have escaped the storms of the UK to enjoy life underneath a swaying coconut tree in Sri Lanka and I do hope that (if you are at home) this stormy weather does not ruin your travel plans

Thanks for a great year.

Take heart, Solarpreneurs. We have a bright future ahead and tough times only shake the loose apples off of the tree. Hang on!

See you at the top,
Seasons Greetings

R_Williams_Signature 2



Richard Williams

Could Solar PV Feed-in-Tariff Go Up in 2013?

What a time for our business! We lobby for higher FiT.

Conergy name saved but factory could fold, domestic RHI launch announced, we seek stability for PV by increasing FiT, Climate Master and AG TECHNIK prepare to challenge market leaders, China still seem to be ignoring duties and BIG six to drive cost through roof
Conergy name saved but factory could fold, domestic RHI launch announced, we seek stability for PV by increasing FiT, Climate Master and AG TECHNIK prepare to challenge market leaders, China still seem to be ignoring duties and BIG six to drive cost through roof

Dear Solarpreneur,

As Anti-dumping duties are just around the corner we are about see huge changes and as such we need higher FiT

I just created the petition “Solar PV Feed-in-Tariff To Go Up After 6 August” and wanted to ask if you could add your name too.
This campaign means a lot to me and the more support we can get behind it, the better chance we have of succeeding. You can read more and sign the petition here:

As June saw installations jump up to just under 6000 installations in one week, we all clap our hands but knowingly we could forecast the first couple of weeks in July would plunge as those in the know rushed to buy solar beforedegression kicked in. This FiT idea designed by the government Sales Prevention Officer at DECT (Department of Climate Change and Chocolate Teapots) frankly allowed solarprenuers to catch a few sunray’s of their own. A great time to getaway.At this time China based PV manufacturers are not sending the EU vast amounts of modules in fear of 47% average ADD (anti dumping duty) as solar PV systems could face a significant hike in capital costs, following EU decisions to increase anti-dumping duties on imported Chinese panels by this large amount on 6 August.

As 8 out of 10 modules installed today in the UK are from China, we can expect a solar module drought, the amount of EU manufacturers are lower than ever as many have closed or merged and they will increase prices to get back into the black as they have lost money in the race to the bottom for prices.

We are seeing investors forward ordering multi MW farms from EU manufacturers and this will give a challenge to UK installers. Supply & Demand will drive prices up and we should prepare for modules costing .80p per watt in the not to distant future.

This will change the ROI on PV and DECC Degression will be skipped if deployment is below a floor threshold
This is for a maximum of two successive degression periods and that means we will see a a minimum of 3.5% degression every 9 months and this could be a disaster.

Solar panel price rises are here today, if you have a wholesaler that bought large stocks, prepare as they will either run out of stock or decide to have a larger margin at your expense.

If must happen as all manufacturers have absorbed huge losses.
With the recent over capacity situation in the solar panel market reduces due to huge increases in oversupply from China, as well as reduced need due to slashed incentives, we see multi-million pound plants in mothballs, liquidators and companies pulling out of the market altogether. Most solar manufacturers have been running at a loss throughout the last year or two and they will see this as a chance to get into profit. Prepare for large increases in costs and an element of searching for modules if FiT does not fall. If we have falling FiT and high prices it might be time to add something with a juicy domestic RHI to the portfolio next year.
For these reasons I ask you join my petition and that you contact your MP and ask for a freeze on degression and possibly an increased FiT.


Should we be on holiday?
Frankly it should not be a good time to be away as selling the concept of solar today is much easier  than 4:30pm on a dark December afternoon but hey-ho if FiT causes a roller coaster in our business we might as well go on holiday or focus on a sales & marketing plan to make hay whilst the sunshine’s on our roof top or warms up the soil in readiness for heat pumps taking off with the much awaited RHI for domestic use (we’ll look at this one in a minute).

DECC created an early holiday
Whilst we bask in sunshine I note from my travels that many ‘solarpreneurs’ have chosen this time to impersonate solar panels by inclining themselves on a sun lounger and pointing south. You can spot a solarprenuer as they have insider knowledge about keeping cool in order to enhance performance and have a temperature coefficient serviced by several large cool drinks a day (often impersonating thermal with something added distilled) to keep at 100% efficiency.

This means they might point due south to catch those ‘rays’ but are never too far from a long cool drink and they are therefore something of a hybrid thermal/PV collector.

Creating more business with Pay Per Click
If you are away then well done and (based on criticism from several installers about the length of these emails) at least you have an entire week to read this diatribe!
Should you be reading this from a deckchair then no doubt you are alos keeping in touch with business (even on holiday) with an Apple device or some other technical widget named after fruit. As we all tend to carry a mobile device you might want to also set up some Google AdWords – by seeing this link for Online Advertising by Google
At this time of year the leads can flood in, just set up some very specific long tail Pay Per Click keywords as you will probably know “Long-tail keywords” are typically defined as search queries that contain 3 or more keywords. These terms usually have low search volume and low cost-per-clicks (CPCs), yet they are often overlooked by many PPC marketers. As most of solarprenuer’s  are aware it can be costly to have terms such as ‘solar panels’ but spending a little time in the deckchair thinking about search terms that people use could make you a lot of sales for little cost.

Getting rich pickings from Google
A great friend of mine has built a £multi-million sales business using these long tail PPC phrases, his advice was “park your ego at the door” and then he said ” think what the customer types in to Google and not want you want to sell them”. For example we might like to think a surfer of the web seeking solar will search ‘quality solar installer Greater Manchester’ when typing in the customers mindset it might be in fact ‘cheap solar panels Ashton-under-Lyne’ you could do the same unless of course you are not in Ashton and perhaps you might improvise with some town (not county) in a tight area around you.

You can Google for more tips but Google make it easy to get started and in many ways DECT have forced the time to think marketing and sales strategy upon us. My good pal Richard M, is in the same sector, using Google he makes 200+ leads per month within an hours drive (most within 20 minutes), 100 of these become appointments made and 80 of these are appointments kept. What could you do with an extra 80 appointments?

Success in sales comes from converting 50% of our appointments kept into sales
Visiting installers I get feedback of 1 sale in 10 as a conversion ratio, a very successful company averages 1 sale in 8 appointments and I spoke with another who gets better that 1 sale from every two appointments.

What is the difference between these three businesses?
They are in very similar locations, very similar premises, operated by renewable savvy solarprenuers’, seeking to make high quality installations, the business owners all start/finish work at the same time, have holidays at the same time, dress the same and want to build a noteworthy business.

They will all be pleased to spend money on making more sales enquirers and turning these into appointments but frankly only one of these installers should increase spending on marketing.

Unless the solarprenuer is gaining a 1 in 2 conversion from appointment’s kept to sales made they are burning leads which equates to wasting lots of money and need to focus instead on what the business owner who gets better than a 1 in 2 conversion actually does. The focus is only on three things i. appearance ii. manner iii. words.
Once a framework is in place we will replicate the best operator, with 50% conversions of sales appointments, we can afford to out market and obviously outsell those with appalling conversion ratio’s.

If  we are converting at 1 in 3 or more then we are now probably scratching our head (or some other part of your anatomy), thinking how do we do that and it is impossible.
It is possible, it can happen in your business if you are open to change

The fact is people are doing it and if you are scratching your head then you need to concentrate on the ‘why’ you are not getting this result in your business and I do have the answer. To get the answer I got in touch with Greg Rigby of Pendle Consultants and you can also get in contact at the website here and we discussed the solar dilemma.
For a few thousand pounds a week, Greg or one of his consultant’s will visit your business and bespoke a sales framework for your business, for another few grand they will train your staff and for another chunk of cash they will possibly recruit a sales team or show you how to only employ winners. It would be the best investment you can  make as Greg has put business owners on the Sunday Times Rich List with his know how in the higher end of retail consumer purchase. Or for £25 (£12.50 if you buy today and put in code ’50’)

If your business does not convert one sale from every two appointments you have UI
The dilemma is a feature known as unconscious incompetence (UI) (before you email some angry comment please read on) as to how we get over 50% of our customers to buy.
I often use the analogy of learning how to drive a car to explain this challenge.

First you might not know how to drive a car and which handles do what, you might not even know what a car is and the concept is one that does not bother you and this isunconscious incompetence

You learn about your lack of knowledge and incompetence in this area, you then strive to learn about cars, seek out the dreaded theory test information and how to drive one.
We flick on the wipers when trying idictate an intention to turn right or left from the road. We are scared with, kangaroo hops, messing up three-point or U-turns hill starts, multiple lessons, possibly later failing a driving test or two and that isconscious incompetence

You then learn to stop rolling backwards on hill starts, gain clutch control by watching for the biting point, seek the books on the highway code, can do a three point turn by looking out for the kerb, when actually behind the wheel you think mirror-signal-maneuver and it all works as it should. You now have the know how to operate a car, what handles do what and you are actively learning how to drive a car to the point you are going to pass the driving test. You must however focus a lot  on the task or else you’ll make mistakes and this is what we call conscious competence.

Once you have passed your test, gained the needful from DVLA full license department , after driving for perhaps 10,000 or 100,000 miles I hope we can all agree that driving is easy. You don’t need to concentrate as hard as you did anymore, it’s all second nature now. You have the capacity to relax, turn up the radio and even talk on the phone unconscious competence.

Your business is just the same
A car is like a business, it cannot crash unless you get behind the wheel.
Car’s don’t crash- people crash cars and in business it is the same, businesses don’t crash, people (business owners) crash businesses.

Get a conversion ratio of 50% of the sales appointments you keep GUARANTEED* 
So back to my chat with Greg, he agreed to look at the sector, for a fee he agreed to do what he does best and that is design a sales & marketing framework for domestic sales of solar. If you would like to convert 50% of your appointments

For one day only I have a 50% off present for you.
It was my 50th last week, to celebrate this I invite you to a webinar, the cost of putting this on is already subsidised by AG TECHNIK to £25 and for today only I will split with you 50/50 and that means £12.50 is the price you pay.  Enter promotional code 50 at

With subsiidy from AG TECHNIK, I invested in Greg going on the road, looking at PV and as such Greg Rigby is ready to guarantee results.
What is in it for me?

I will not make a penny directly from you attending, in fact it will have cost me considerably more to put this event on than I will receive and the reason is I know a new sales approach for solar is a must do. We have no option but to make change happen and for that reason- you are invited to Kaizen Morning 改善 Webinar. To see more click here .
My reward will come from your need to close sales at 50% ratio, this will require you hunting down a module not sold to your local cowboy competitor who just sticks a few hundred quid on top of cost prices as Greg will be expecting you to make maximum margins as well as selling to more people

For £12.50 you are guaranteed to have clients agree to buy from you at a ratio of better than 50% on appointments kept and this means 1 client in every two will buy from you if you implement the strategy. 

This online event is Saturday morning, 27 July 2013 from 07:45 to 10:00 (BST), yes we  did include AG TECHNIK up as sponsor, nobody is required to buy any products and I just know that we will all get an insight to run a business with a considerable improvement to our sales.


Power up your Solar business with Kaizen (改善) business management circleAG TECHNIKSaturday, 27 July 2013 from 07:45 to 10:00 (BST)People are booked an paid at £25 with today’s deal £12.50 if you book within 24 hours
Guarantee is in place with the promise from Greg that you will leave his course, able to close 50% of the deals you go on.
What we do know is that figures are the truth, if (say) 2500 PV installations (under 50kW) are what are made in a week and we have (say) 86 counties this equates to 29 installations per week. Some of these might still be investor based FREE or with PPA, some are social landlords and this means the number in your area could be (say) 18-20 installations per week.

If the true market in your county is 20 installations per week, that is the natural size of your current market and you have four options:
a) Conquest more business by stealing market share from your competition and that comes from converting at a higher ratio than they do
b) Enter larger markets by expanding into other counties (risky if you are not converting sales at the highest possible ratio)
c)  Take on new sectors (if domestic only then look at commercial or if commercial only seek more from domestic) or new products such adding different renewable technologies
d) Whilst on holiday look in the estate agents window, sell up and buy a deckchair for the beach
Greg says

“having balanced the requirements of the RECC and REA Codes of Practice along with professional sales techniques I have produced a Sales Process for Solar PV that is wholly compliant and will guarantee conversion rates in excess of 50% if the process is followed” This is the last opportunity to book and places are limited. Book here on a first come first served basis. Having watched Greg operating in other sectors I just know this will be your best money spent so far this year.
Looking at the details below might be a help as the truth is a great taskmaster and DECT have been good at keeping score.

Weekly data
Sunday, July 7,
Not our finest week with 3000 UK installers sharing 921 Solar PV installations made in the under 50 kW sector and the installed capacity was some 2,970  (kW)
Sunday, July 14,
The figures for the UK Solar PV installers are a combined weekly total of   1,351 Solar PV installations and the installed capacity was some 4,617 (kW).Great to see some increased numbers and UK solar getting back on track. However we need to look at growing this and frankly our marketing should focus on offers to allow for an incentive to fill the dip in our forward installation planning.

If you are however not away then now is the time to catch your competitor totally unaware and capture market share!

Whether at your desk or reclining on a blue sky holiday it might be the time we could work out what to expect over the next twelve months in the world of solar.
If the sales figures continue to bounce along like this we might all agree we need a new plan.

If we look at the real statistics two things can be established:

a) Very bad week is just under 1000 installations
b) Very best week is say 6000 installations.

The above is in the under 50kW sector.

With all the pain for very little gain, a new way forward is required, without knowing your personal answer for the year ahead, all I can say is you might be thinking like a pioneering solarprenuer brimming with commonsense,(DECC are not as savvy)  yet if we look back over the last few years that kind of forethought and solar savvy does not seem to  have been always offered up by the government who are a requisite in our business.

Could we therefore look back at DECT (Department of Energy and Chocolate Teapots) to see if they acted with good forethought, down-to-earth, solar savvy, astute business sense or on the other hand have we all become embroiled in the traitorous or even perfidious  actions of a naive government.

Based on what we have seen to date, my tounge in cheek thoughts are that we might stand the entire business process on its head as frankly all rationale and commonsense seems to have gone out of the window since Feed in Tariff was invented.

The facts are as clear as  the nose on our face, again we can take an overview of certain factors such as the costs of development as well as the production of fossil fuel energy, in the very first instance our old think energy was underwritten with our taxpayers money and this filled the pockets of a few who owned traditional energy companies.

Should we ever build the true costs into the price of all energy, solar power is not just competitive, it’s cheaper.
The day will come with grid parity and the honest results will show through once all (direct or indirect) energy subsidies are removed.

We have a strong market for solar power today. We have a willing market, the necessary technology, and an undisputable imperative to create a cleaner, safer planet. I’m delighted to call to meet installers who are mainly committed to leading a company that delivers the best technology and service.

If we continue to revolutionise solar power generation on a UK scale, one kilowatt hour at a time we will hit those targets and make great businesses.
We should look to finance or creative financing to seek out a new method of selling as we are on the verge of having that robust renewable energy market as
prices from the BIG 6 is set to spiral with RWE NPOWER forecasting the energy bill policy is set to make energy costs rise by 78% between 2013 and 2020.

This kind of increase stops the industry only being here to chase the next subsidy. For the good of our energy future, subsidies for all energy must eventually end and we will need ti educate ourselves with a new pitch to deliver this.

Some say a great industry was literally hung out to dry by allowing conditions to prevail that makes Solar a sector that is now often criticised.
All types of renewable energy offers all parties the greatest opportunity in the history of the world and we are all making this history.

In the longer term we will win but we must know what to expect in the solar market in 2013.
Some of the things we need to look at are facts to see if the industry will stagnate or will it grow exponentially.
If Solar PV manufacturers continue to fold, will they all be acquired and if so what will happen
Will the market regain some stability
Who will emerge as a clear leading brand in the UK
What will China do this year about ADD and how will the change the market
How will the increase in costs of utilities change and how will the change an ever evolving solar market

The above are not questions that I can offer a factual answer as many are being decided

We need to promote a disciplined framework in a rigorous combined with a marketing methods to add value to get more business.
Recommendations are a great scheme all based on our results and our standards of work.

For the domestic sales we simply need to look for the Baby Boomers
The Boomers represent the greatest untapped opportunity for Solar PV marketers, you already understand this and realise marketing to others will not produce the same results. For those solar marketers looking to target a precise offer to the over 50’s, value for money is highly important for Baby Boomers and they are actively comparing prices. Try to demonstrate value for money and they do like quality engineering. They know they are buying electrical goods, placed outside to face  the elements for a decade or three and on that basis having a  variety of solar products available will allow the Boomer options to be sold up to a better brand.

Don’t assume Baby Boomers are stuck in their ways – as these guys (must remember I became a nifty fifty myself last week) matter and should be front of mind for solar marketers and solar advertisers.
The most surprising research is how the Baby Boomer of today challenges the stereotypes we all apply from what we saw in the prior generation. The 60 year old of today think like a 40 year old of yesterday. For all intents and purposes, this is a group of consumers who would deliver a greater return on investment if we took the time to speak to them in a manner which reflect their stage of life and lifestyle. These are silver haired adventurers, highly active, great networkers, enjoying working in later years.

This is a demographic relatively free from advertising clutter and competition; ripe for an advertiser willing to be brave. Look out for marketing of solar energy has moved from just being a green option for wealthy hippies, following this we sold to financially savvy silver fox investors seeking an alternative to an ISA and now it will be sold as a ‘must have’ to avoid the trap of spiraling energy costs.

Now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for! DOMESTIC RENEWABLE HEAT INCENTIVE
I joined this industry in the days of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme  and technologies such Solar Thermal were growing on a steady curve until I went to a conference calledPreparing For The Solar Boom Ahead  , between setting up the conference marketing plan and the delivery all that changed.

Keynote speaker was a Mr Hergen Haye, Director of Heat Policy at the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, he proclaimed Solar Thermal (amongst other domestic technologies) was over in terms of government subsidy and my jaw dropped the floor. I had grafted for two years with display kit, stock, a pallett of brochures and this man declared my business was over until domestic RHI was launched! Then Mr Haye explained we should all look at Solar PV as a scheme would be launched the following year and Solar Thermal companies went to the wall. Last year we lost over 40% of the previous years amount of sales of Thermal as this market continues to go int free-fall.

My agencies with ECOBODS were kicked so far into the long grass with Solar Thermal and Ground Source Heat Pumps that I went on the road selling Solar PV to the domestic market and looked for a new agency. Today I’m delighted to have the Solar Agency of AG TECHNIK in place and can now offer superb EU Solar products with components from world leading German engineering.

Getting back to Mr Haye, whose best intentions might be best discussed with him and not me! In the opinion of some he is a muppet and others a puppet.

He might however be really clever, leaving all of us in renewable energy with his eye in another direction, Hergen Haye found a new position very quickly as BERR fell off the radar, the Department of Energy and Chocolate Teapots enabled Mr Haye to use his knowledge as the Head of New Nuclear at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) of the British government since 2010. If Mr Haye, just came clean, mentioned a great big U Turn would lead to us all waiting 5 years for domestic RHI, a blip of success for domestic Solar PV, heading us all to Nuclear Power stations and fracking for gas we could have prepared alternative schemes.

What we do know that we have all been grafting, making businesses with what we have, whilst the Civil Servants have been having it large not with bribery of course but some jolly spiffing outings with dinners at the five-star Berkeley, KPMG working with RWE-Npower also took our under fed Mr Haye and his pals to other venues for hospitality enjoyed by the OND’s senior officials include the Reform Club, the Cavalry and Guards Club, the Royal Horseguards hotel, the RAC ClubRoux at Parliament Square, the Naval & Military Club1 Lombard Street and the Cinnamon Club . Following this under the table emails were sent between companies and DECC. Frankly I’m not going any further as these are allegations only and I have had some huge companies legal departments on my case already since I started airing my views in these missives when I started casting aspersions on some of the globe’s biggest Solar PV companies getting into trouble and talking about Anti dumping duty in the USA.

Getting back to domestic RHI
We all say ABOUT TIME, with a sigh of relief we can look at what this really means.

What the papers say
Householders will be able to claim hundreds or even thousands of pounds a year for green heating technologies such as solar hot water systems from next year under a flagship renewable energy scheme. But Guardian analysis shows that despite the increases in the government payment levels announced on Friday, it will still take decades to recoup the upfront costs of installing these technologies.

If you have been away on a holiday without internet
The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) last week (Friday 12 July) confirmed the tariffs for the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive scheme – 7.3p/kWh for air-source heat pumps, 12.2p/kWh for biomass boilers, 18.8p/kWh for ground-source heat pumps and at least 19.2p/kWh for solar thermal.

The feedback is varied but in general we should all prepare for business to get back to growth.
During 2010 & 2011 the industry took a nose dive for solar thermal as sales were sinking and now we can get back to some growth. I do expect solar thermal will sell better when incorporated with another technology such as geothermal heat pumps and the like

Our chums in Solar Thermodynamic have not been included as yet and I wonder if this is down to DECC/GemServ being lobbied by the more traditional technologies.

We could also do well to look at the hybrid systems (combined heat pump and boiler) as this will be an interesting combination and might even avoid a ground loop in some situations.

If you are in Solar PV then please do look at getting help toward this exciting new development and think about domestic RHI as this is a catalyst for significant market growth.

Geothermal heat pumps.
As we prepare to develop a network for Climate Master  (the world’s larget geothermal heat pump manufacturer), a USA giant in the industry sees this is the time to become the market leader and are developing a new dealer network. TheECOBODS team are inviting installers to apply for dealer status, it is intended that full training will be given and every installation will be signed off to ensure the manufacturers warranty can be issued with confidence. Email for more details on expanding your business with a Climate Masterdealership

Solar Thermal.
AG TECHNIK have developed a range of products for the UK market in addition to Solar PV by Q CELLS, they have a range of full copper plate solar thermal and this means hot water for longer periods thant standard solar collectors. To get more information on the AG TECHNIK hot water range and find out about the installer partner opportunity apply online

With the new tariff levels providing paybacks for some technologies of less than five years it means a lot to be happy about:

  • Homeowners now have a huge financial reason for investment and you need to get booked onto a course with Greg above although about PV the entire industry needs to innovate to deliver the propositions which they are looking for.
  • Gte in front of architects, scour planning portals as the self-builders have are now an important customer segment … they are a fast growth buyer for renewable heat, and with and tend to have a few bob for investment or can borrow at good rates. Yogen research shows over 25% of self-builds have some form of microgeneration.
  • Get in front of the landlords in your area who have a critical role to play in growing low carbon heat. They like investments and the RHI gives them a guaranteed revenue stream which will have increasing appeal.

So using RHI or FiT, we should not per se revolve around the green element, but rather around the praticalities: It is time for solar to be seen as a practical solution, something that we need rather than something green that is nice to have. It is up to the industry to market solar as such, so that people start to see it as a necessity.

Lately I feel hopeful, I see so many signs that there’s this  some green shoots beyond a terrible mess happening in the renewable energy industry.
Eventually the day of parity will come and we can escape the need for government subsidy and we are in the right place as the renewables sector  is evolving right before our eyes.

That’s how I hope you see the world, rather than the focus on all of the problems, we do have the light at the end of the tunnel (and it is not the bailiff with a torch) as people are very slowly waking up once again to a need for a greener planet.

As a country or as a planet we have crisis. We are in the cycle of recession and just like the  all the seasons it is a cycle.  Recession is like winter, we need this because things die in winter and things are cleaned out so that there’s room for the new springtime.

In the renewable energy business we are not yet seeing the business springtime, but each business can make the most of the market and do more individually to enter springtime now, but as a sector, we’re right now still in winter and there’s enough crisis within all the technologies.

As renewable energy manufacturers continue to fold,with Conergy solar module and mounting system manufacturing units going to the wall. A sharp operator Daniel Ades, the 32-year-old investment wiz kid has bought the name and sales operation in terms of Kawa Capital Management of Florida
Move fast in case the market stagnates, market yourself, get into new geographical areas, seek new product extensions  and above all prepare to convert 50% of all the sales meetings you have by getting onto this Kaizen morning and use the code ’50’ to get 50% off the price… go on book now by clicking here

We need certainty of stability, dumping tariffs will lead to greater issues to change the market, the increase in costs of utilities will be big enough to make people blame green energy but things will change for the better in an ever evolving solar market.

Some solarprenuers are already pushed over the edge and others solarpreneurs aren’t and I can promise you, over the next three or four years you’re going to see a lot more crisis and you’re going to see a lot more breakthroughs and on the other side of it, just keep the cashflow under observation to last out and we’ll enter a new springtime that will be worthy of this huge wait. A shorter route does exist by following the theory of Kaizen, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel—learn from the best and do use my subsidised option by
entering the number 50 at this link Enter promotional code it is limited for today only.

Take heart, Solarpreneurs. We have a bright future ahead and tough times only shake the loose apples off of the tree. Hang on!
See you at the top,
Richard Williams
Direct dial 01886 880088
Energy Conservation Centre
Tanhouse Lane
WR13 5JX
Telephone 0845 055 8203

P.S. We have collected names from people we have met at EcoBuild or done business with in the past and if by error we sent this to you by mistake then please unsubscribe and you will not hear from us by email again

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DECC or a Chocolate Tea Pot

We’ve renamed DECC twice this year, first we thought they forgot Climate Change by deciding to protect our planet further with the go ahead of hydraulic fracturing, (fracking) with a process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside.


The financial advantages will be many, if you are one of the eco warriors who got into this for the money, it might be time to start a lorry dealership as we are told, every gas well needs an average of 400 tanker lorries to carry water and supplies to and from the site.

This will make any junction along the M55 to Blackpool as good a site as any for UK fracking get rich quick merchants to set up.

Along with the several hundred million gallons of water used for the well we can expect a mix of sand and chemicals to create fracking fluid. Approximately 40,000 gallons of chemicals are used per fracturing with 600 chemicals being used in fracking fluid, including known carcinogens and toxins!

What does this mean?

During this process, methane gas and toxic chemicals leach out from the system and can contaminate nearby water.

Methane concentrations are 17x higher in drinking-water wells near fracturing sites than in normal wells.

There have been over 1,000 documented cases of water contamination next to areas of gas drilling as well as cases of sensory, respiratory, and neurological damage due to ingested contaminated water.

The waste fluid is left in open air pits to evaporate, or might get into the sea after releasing harmful VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) into the atmosphere, creating contaminated air, acid rain, and ground level ozone.

Frankly I believe an organisation cannot care about Climate Change and at the same time back hydraulic fracking all for a few hundred thousand  barrels of natural gas a day and at the same time know all the numerous environmental, safety, and health hazards.

Then we were more polite and changed the name from DE to DECT. Department of Energy and Chocolate Teapots!

Why.. not much use to anybody,  prone to make clumsy decisions and  just plain slow or as some would say it is a combination of  all of these.

Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive

Then we are  given the information that homeowner installing renewable heat technology in their homes will be able to apply for up to 19.2p/kWh in government support from spring 2014.

The headline information is as follows:-

  • Air source heat pumps – 7.3p/kWh – Output based on EPC coupled with distribution system efficiency
  • Ground Source Heat Pumps – 18.8p/kWh – Output based on EPC coupled with distribution system efficiency
  • Biomass – 12.2p/kWh – Output based on EPC
  • Solar Thermal – 19.2p/kWh – Output based on installer forecast (MCS certificate)
  • The scheme is open to homeowners, landlords, Social Housing providers, self-builders and third party system owners. Assuming the eligibility criteria is met the scheme will be open to any installation installed since 15th July 2009.
  • The incentive will be paid at a set rate per unit of renewable heat produced (kilowatt hour or kWh), for seven years, to the owner of the heating system
  • £230 and £200 annual bonus for heat pumps and biomass boilers with heat meters respectively.
    Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) scheme approval required.
  • Green Deal Assessment (GDA) required to ensure minimum energy efficiency requirements of loft and cavity insulation are met.
    Tariffs linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI)
  • Tariff to reduce to new entrants as uptake increases – first come first served (detailed expected in Autumn).

We say about time! We have now been waiting since 2009

The RHI is designed to encourage householders to switch to renewable heat from traditional heating systems, in order to save money on bills, cut carbon and meet renewables targets
This launch of domestic RHI is designed to encourage householders to switch from fossil fuels such as oil or gas and use renewable heat systems, in order to save money on bills, cut carbon and meet renewable energy targets


Domestic RHI explained
• Available for any homeowners, private and social landlords third-party owners of heating systems and people who build their own homes

• Any renewable heat schemes installed since 15 July 2009 will be eligible for support

• Any installations today under the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHHP) grant scheme, which runs until March 2014, will be eligible for domestic RHI support, with RHPP deducted from RHI support payments

• Eligible technologies – air-to-water heat pumps, biomass-only boilers and biomass pellet stoves with back boilers, ground- and water-source heat pumps, flat plate and evacuated tube solar thermal pumps

• Support paid on a quarterly basis for seven years, with tariffs set at a level that reflects expected cost of renewable heat generation over 20 years. Payments will change annually in line with the retail price index

• An extra set payment of £230 a year will be paid where householders take out metering and monitoring support packages for heat pumps and £200 for biomass boilers

• Applicants are required to complete a Green Deal assessment before submitting their application and ensure they meet minimum loft (250mm) and cavity wall insulation requirements

• All installations and installers must be MCS certified

• Green Deal finance available to cover upfront costs of equipment Source:Farmers Weekly


Domestic RHI scheme

The details of the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) were announced by the UK Government on 12 July 2013. The Government has released a document setting out the final policy for the domestic RHI, subject to state aid and parliamentary approval.

The main details of the scheme are listed below:

  • The domestic RHI is a UK Government financial support scheme for renewable heat, targeted at, but not limited to, off gas grid households.
  • the domestic RHI scheme covers England, Wales and Scotland only
  • DECC intend that the scheme will open to applications in Spring 2014 and will be administered by Ofgem
  • Ofgem guidance will be available before the launch of the scheme on how to apply and the information that will need to be provided
  • the scheme will cover single domestic dwellings and will be open to owner-occupiers, private landlords, Registered Providers of Social Housing, third party owners of heating systems and self-builders. It will not be open to new build properties other than self-build
  • it will be open to anyone in these groups who installed an eligible technology since 15th July 2009, provided they met the scheme criteria
  • for those who have installed a renewable heating system before the launch of the scheme in Spring 2014 and since 15 July 2009 (legacy applications), the date they can submit their application may not be from when the scheme first opens and will be phased over time.  This is to help manage the potentially large volume of applications submitted when the scheme opens and to avoid a backlog. Further details on the phasing will be provided by Ofgem prior to launch
  • the financial support will be paid at a set rate per unit of renewable heat produced (kilowatt hour or kWh), for seven years, to the owner of the heating system
  • the scheme will support air source heat pumps (ASHP), biomass systems, ground source heat pumps (GSHP) and solar thermal technologies. The support rates vary depending on the technology installed:
Air source heat pump Biomass Ground source heat pump Solar thermal
Tariff (p/kWh renewable heat) 7.3 12.2 18.8 19.2
  • for biomass the renewable heat generated will be based on an estimated figure of heat demand from an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
  • for heat pumps the renewable heat generated will be based on an estimate of the heat demand from an EPC combined with an estimate of the heat pump’s efficiency
  • for solar thermal systems the renewable heat generated will be based on the estimate of system performance completed as part of an Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) installation.
  • to help improve performance of renewable heating systems, there will  be an extra incentive for applicants who install metering and monitoring service packages, of £230 per year for heat pumps and £200 per year for biomass boilers
  • to be eligible the system must be certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) scheme and meet relevant standards for each technology, including limits on harmful emissions for biomass systems
  • legacy biomass installations, installed between 15th July 2009 and the launch of the scheme in Spring 2014, will not need to meet the emissions limits requirement.
  • all applicants are required to complete a Green Deal Assessment (GDA) before applying and to ensure they meet minimum energy efficiency requirements of loft and cavity insulation where required by the GDA
  • any public grants previously received, including RHPP, will be deducted to avoid a double subsidy
  • tariffs will change annually in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI)
  • DECC intend to introduce a system of degression to control the costs of the scheme. This is where tariffs are reduced over time for new applications to the scheme.Those who have already secured their tariff will not have their tariff reduced due to cost control. DECC will announce further details on the cost control policy in Autumn 2013.

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of all the criteria of the scheme.You can find further details about the scheme and link to all the related policy documents on the UK Government website.

Find out about the Renewable Heat Premium Payment in England, Scotland and Wales.

Find out about the Renewable Heat Premium Payment in Northern Ireland at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment website. Sorce: Energy Savings Trust


What does all this mean?

We expect income will be between £2000 and £11000 per annum for owning a Ground Source Heat Pump
We expect income will be between £2000 and £11000 per annum for owning a Ground Source Heat Pump


Renewable Heat Business Hung Out to Dry

Last year we reported that the Government had announced plans to delay RHI until 2013

Why put off for one year what can be put off for two years or more

We have a pallet of sales literature from Tekno Energy after expecting RHI
We have a pallet of sales literature from Tekno Energy after expecting RHI

The RHI was due to  start this summer, but has been put off in an RHI Update by DECC on 26th March 2013, DECC made a formal announcement confirming that

domestic RHI had been postponed until Spring 2014. There will be a further
update in Summer 2013 to clarify how the RHI will operate once launched.
The Renewable Heat Premium Payment
(RHPP) scheme is being extended until the end
of March 2014, ahead of the launch of the RHI
for householders. This scheme, first launched

After Getting Climate Master Ready For RHI Domestic Launch We can Put It Back in the Box!!
After Getting Climate Master Ready For RHI Domestic Launch We can Put It Back in the Box!!

in July 2011, offers money off the cost of
renewable heating kit such as biomass boilers,
solar thermal panels and heat pumps and is
largely targeted at those living off the gas grid.
The scheme was due to close at the end of

Thermal Sales Zero
Thermal Sales Zero

March 2013.
It should be noted that even though the RHPP scheme is being extended,
householders who applied before 31 March 2013 must have redeemed their
voucher by their stated voucher expiry date or 31 March 2013 (whichever is
sooner). If the stated deadline was missed, householders will be able to
re-apply once the extension is live from 1 April 2013.
MCS does not have any further updates at this time, but will
continue to ensure certified organisations are updated as soon as
the information is available.

New market
Richard Williams of Ecobods Manufacturers &; Marketing Agents, has been asked to attend Intersolar to launch a solar panel into UK that fulfils our needs for both electricity and hot water but no RHI!!

Frankly this ruins the likelihoods for thousands in domestic heat as it seems to be impossible to run a renewable heat business in the United Kingdom.  UK Government ministers such as Greg Barker and Ed Davey are about as honest as  Chris Huhne with speeding points but these guys are  in charge of renewable heat policies simply

Why can’t we trust DECC to tell the truth when they publish a plan and they never trusted to stick to their announcement about its plans for the Renewable Heat Incentive.

The renewable heat incentive was originally supposed to be launched in July 2009 and when it got to the crunch a financial crisis intervened Climate Change and we thought it  would be launched in 2010, I then geared up for 2011 and then toured the globe for UK product launch in 2012.

These monster pledges are annual and frankly each promise proves to be a lie.

Economic times are hard, but the RHI for householders involved very small money and the government consulted on a capping mechanism to spread the tiny budget of it.


We have a skeleton with a weak RHI launched for business and  take up for is at best very small and whilst solar thermal is in single figures .

With RHI being postponed from 2009 know it has ruined an entire industry but hey that’s business…… well that is bvusiness if it relies on government and honesty in the same sentence


Progress on support for renewable heat hots up today with the publication of three consultations on the Coalition’s Renewable Heat Incentive scheme (RHI). The RHI, the first of its kind in the world, was launched for the non domestic sector in November last year, with a scheme for householders intended to open in Summer 2013.

Only using products supplied by manufacturers of the world’s leading energy products., the trusted symbol organisation connecting farmers, business owners and homeowners with the UK’s most highly skilled solar and heat pump installers.


Proposals on long term support for householders who install renewable heating kit such as biomass boilers, heat pumps and solar thermal in their homes across the nation have been published for consultation today. The RHI for householders, to be managed by Ofgem, is aimed at any householder looking to replace their current heating with renewable heating kit or householders who have installed any such technology since 15 July 2009. It is intended that householders will get paid for the heat expected to be produced by their installed technology.

Key proposals in the consultation include:

  • Indicative tariff ranges for air source heat pumps (6.9-11.5p/kWh), biomass boilers (5.2-8.7p/kWh), ground source heat pumps (12.5-17.3p/kWh) and solar thermal technologies (17.3p/kWh) that are MCS certified and meet relevant required standards
  • Payments for householders over seven years for each kWh of heat produced for the expected lifetime of the renewable technology and based on deemed heat usage
  • Tariff levels set to provide a better return for householders living off the gas grid
  • Budget management system similar to one introduced for the Feed-in Tariffs scheme
  • Minimum energy efficiency requirements based on Green Deal assessments

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said:

“We need to revolutionise the way we heat our homes and businesses and move away from expensive fossil fuels, not only to cut carbon but to help meet our renewables targets and save money on bills.
“Our proposals aim to encourage even more uptake of clean green heating in industry and in our businesses. We have also set out our views on long term support for those who invest in low carbon kit in their homes and we look forward to hearing your thoughts.”

The closing date for this consultation is 7 December 2012.

There is already cash available for renewable heat for householders under the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme, set to run until March 2013. The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has recently announced the winners of the RHPP Social Landlord Phase 2 ‘Top up’ competition and confirmed the list of community groups through to the next stage of the RHPP communities competition.


DECC has today published two consultations on expanding the RHI scheme for commercial, industrial and community customers to increase uptake of renewable heating kit in this sector.

The first consultation looks at the broader expansion of the scheme and closes on 7 December 2012. The second consultation focuses on air to water heat pumps and energy from waste and closes on 18 October 2012.

Key proposals to expand the scheme include:

  • Inclusion of heating only Air to Air heat pumps with a proposed tariff of 0.97p/kWh for all sizes of installation
  • Inclusion of Air to Water heat pumps with a proposed tariff of 1.7p/kWh for all sizes of installation
  • Inclusion of biomass direct air heaters with a proposed tariff of 2.1p/kWh under 1MW and 1p/kWh over 1MW
  • Extension of biogas combustion tariffs to installations over 200kW
  • Introduction of a specific tariff for heat from biomass CHP of a proposed 4.1pkWh
  • Introduction of bioliquid CHP tariff of 4.1p/kWh
  • Increased tariff for deep geothermal installations from 3.4 p/kWh to 5p/kWh
  • Increased range of waste feedstocks eligible for support
  • Minimum energy efficiency requirements for district heating, commercial and industrial space and water heating
  • Continuation of exclusion of reversible Air to Air heat pumps from the scheme

DECC will be running a number of events across the country to provide opportunities to ask questions about the consultations and feed in ideas. Further details on these events, including how to register, will be published on the DECC website shortly.


  1. There are a number of areas in the consultations on which evidence and views are sought. These are likely to affect the level of subsidy and the final make up of the scheme. Investment decisions should therefore not made on the assumption that these proposals will not change.
  2. DECC’s Heat Strategy was published in March 2012.
  3. The RHI is designed to help the UK meet its target of 15 per cent of our energy from renewables by 2020. Renewable heat will contribute approximately a third of this overall energy target.
  4. The consultation on RHI for householders.
  5. Further details on the RHI for non-domestic customers.
  6. The consultation on the expansion of the RHI non-domestic.
  7. The consultation on Air to Water Heat Pumps and Energy from Waste.
  8. More details on the RHPP scheme[External link].
  9. Details of successful bidders through to the next round of the RHPP communities scheme.
  10.  Social landlords allocated further funding under the RHPP Social Landlord Phase 2 ‘Top up’ scheme.

Renewable Heat Premium Payment Final Launch

As Greg Barker from DECC made his speech to launch the final piece of the jigsaw in RHPP he backed a decentralised approach to energy generation as the best solution to climate change and the reduction of our carbon emissions. Mr Barker went on to say

” I would like to go further. I’ve seen the way these local schemes bring neighbourhoods closer together. I’ve seen them build greater community cohesion. I’ve seen them catalyse new local projects that embed sustainability and resource efficiency and drive greater sense of responsibility”.

We agree with his speech (Greg Barker is making a good long term plan) that decentralised energy efficiency is a great thing. Not just a means to an end.

If we all work together communities of all shapes and sizes will get on board and take advantage of all this scheme has to offer.

Read the speech


24 JULY 2012


Good morning and thank you for coming today, I have great pleasure in announcing the third and final element of this year’s Renewable Heat Premium Payment – the Communities Scheme. Before launching into the detail of this new scheme, lets discuss why I believe renewable heat is so important and why we need to take action now.


Under the EU Renewable Energy Directive, the UK has a legally-binding commitment to generate 15% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. An incredible 47% of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions are attributable to heat generation.

Looking ahead, the DECC Carbon Plan sets out the Coalition Government’s aim to reduce emissions from heat in buildings from 124 Megatons to zero by 2050.  To achieve these extraordinary targets, heating used in buildings will need to come from renewable technologies such as air-source or ground-source heat pumps.  The RHPP is really the first step on the road to achieve this.

I don’t under estimate the challenge and this is an important first step. Throughout this decade, Government is really focussing its attention on working with industry to prepare the market.  We are committed to renewable heating, driving innovation and supporting the UK industry to build supply chains – with the goal to bring down costs ahead of large scale roll-out. Creating British jobs, British firms and British expertise.


So what has happened so far.

Under Phase 1 of the RHPP, which  ran from August last year to the end of March this year over 6000 homes received help.  These houses were previously on costly, high carbon fuels for heating and have now had their systems replaced with low or zero carbon renewable heating.


Now let’s move to Phase 2, which is building on the successes of Phase 1. Under the RHPP, we are continuing to provide one-off grants to householders across Great Britain to help with the cost of installing renewable heating technologies. Since we reopened in March, we have issued a further 1,187 household vouchers – all helping to install renewable heating technologies in people’s homes.


In May this year, I launched the second social landlords competition. We received 72 applications and I can announce that all were successful in this competition at a value of just over £5million. A full list of winners will be published on the DECC website today.

The value of the applications received was just over £5 million –this is approximately half the £10million we have set aside for social landlords. We would have, of course, liked to have seen more applications, but I am still very encouraged that these applications are seeking to install a significantly higher number of heating systems  – three times more than seen in the first competition for the same financial contribution from DECC.

We are now considering our next steps – Should we have  another competition or not? If we do decide to do so, we will announce something very soon. I am very interested to hear views from the room today through the Q&A.

I am already convinced that low carbon heating systems have a role to play in social housing. Social landlords do not have to take my word for it, they can see for themselves. Tenants have told us that their new heating systems are saving them money and are easier to run.


Now let me turn to the Communities Scheme – the reason we are here today. The Coalition pledged to “support community ownership of renewable energy schemes” and we have said on many occasions that local people are best placed to decide what is best for their communities. Schemes such as LEAF have enabled communities to act on this and be at the forefront, playing their part in effectively delivering these priorities at a local level.

Communities have much to gain aside from the evident carbon benefits and energy bills savings. It has been shown that communities working together on low carbon energy projects enhance trust between local people and local organisations. This is a strong foundation to build future local capacity and further collective action.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Community Board for their help in developing this new Scheme. I am also extremely pleased to see so many of you have joined us here today and are interested to know more about this new initiative.

This new RHPP Scheme draws on the successes of the Local Energy Assessment Fund (LEAF), which closed in March 2012 and which some of you, I’m sure will already be familiar.

LEAF supported communities across England and Wales to play an active role in the development of a low carbon society where the energy supply is both secure and affordable.

There was widespread interest from around 600 communities, and 236 of them received funding from the £10million pot. The funds supported work by community groups and there were many inspirational examples of communities getting together, assessing local energy efficiency and renewable energy needs and produce local solutions tailored to their unique needs. We will be running an in-depth evaluation of learning from LEAF over the coming months.

Can I take this moment to give you a bit of detail about the Scheme.  The objective is to facilitate the installation of renewable heat systems into privately-owned homes in England, Scotland and Wales.

It will work by supporting those who are currently unlikely to be able to benefit from the RHPP household voucher scheme, through additional Government funding and by encouraging community groups to negotiate bulk buying discounts. We would particularly like to focus on properties and communities which are off-gas, where bills and emissions are higher.

After this event and until the beginning of September, community groups will be able to register their interest with the Energy Saving Trust.  Those projects that pass an initial assessment will progress to the development phase. Here, communities will be supported to develop their ideas into project proposal bids. These bids will be independently assessed and winners announced later in the year.


The RHPP Scheme is a piece in a wider jigsaw and we are working hard to deliver other key initiatives such as the Green Deal and the Renewable Heat Incentive. In recognition of this I was pleased to announce last month that we will be launching a Community Energy Strategy Document to bring together DECC’s strands of work on communities, which will be published in 2013.

The Green Deal launches this autumn helps people pay for home improvements like insulation through savings on their energy bills.  It will help people to make energy-saving improvements to their homes to keep them warm and cosy. At the same time, it’ll reduce the amount of gas and electricity householders need and keep their heating bills down.  ECO, a subsidy from energy suppliers, will provide extra help for those most in need and for properties that are harder to treat.

We know more and more families are being hit by the rising cost of gas and electricity. But our inefficient homes are using a lot more of it than they need to – more than half of our homes don’t have sufficient insulation.

The Green Deal is designed to address these problems, but in a truly revolutionary way. It places consumers at the centre of energy efficiency policy.  It isn’t about stop start Government driven and owned programme of works.  It is about consumers driving demand, and a competitive market responding.

And as the market grows and develops, homeowners, landlords and tenants will get access to a whole range of home improvements to increase the energy efficiency of homes.

The energy efficiency measures in the Green Deal also help to boost the effectiveness of many renewable heat technologies, such as air and ground source heat pumps. Having an energy efficient home is also a prerequisite for installing renewable hear technologies.

The RHI non-domestic scheme already incentivises community groups and social landlords to connect several households together to create local community heat networks and to supply renewable heat to community buildings such as schools and village halls.

We are on track to meet the RHI delivery timetable and we are publishing our longer term proposals for budget management, as well as proposals on biomass sustainability and air quality.  I am also pleased to confirm that we are on track to launch the Domestic RHI consultation this September.



  • £25m for second phase of household voucher scheme
  • Cost control plans set out for non-domestic renewable heat
  • Timetable revealed for longer term support on household renewable heat

A second phase of the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme, which gives money off renewable technologies like biomass boilers, air and ground source heat pumps and solar thermal panels, will be launched on 2nd April this year and will be worth £10m more than the existing scheme.

The new money will help the RHPP go further including an £8m competition for communities to apply for grants to encourage community groups to install renewable heating. This will be on top of the existing voucher scheme which will be mainly focused at around 4 million homes in Great Britain which are not heated by mains gas, who have to rely on higher carbon forms of heating which also tend to be more expensive than gas such as heating oil and electric fires. There will also be a £10m competition for social landlords.

Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said:

“The new Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme will be bigger and better than the original.

“We’re increasing the budget from £15m to £25m, for the first time we’re including community schemes and there’ll be more social housing schemes that can benefit. Those people who are reliant on expensive oil or electric heating should consider applying to the Premium Payment scheme to cut their fuel bills in the long term.

“Generating heat from renewables will not just cut carbon emissions, it will also help create a market in developing, selling and installing kit like solar thermal panels or heat pumps.”

The scheme will continue to be administered by the Energy Saving Trust.

Karen Lawrence, Energy Saving Trust Director of Delivery, said:

“Our aim is to empower householders by giving them the right tools and advice to help them reduce both their energy usage and bills.

“Without a doubt, one of the main barriers that prevents people from taking the plunge is the up-front capital cost. The announcement of the second phase of the government’s Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme not only offers homeowners help with the initial costs, but it also provides them with access to heat technologies that can help them to reduce their energy bills, year on year.

“We are encouraged by the interest in the first phase of the schemes – particularly the social landlord scheme – and look forward to building on this.”

The coalition remains committed to providing longer term support for renewable heat technologies in households and has published an update to parliament today. Proposals will be consulted upon in September at which point a firmer timetable for the launch of a scheme will be published, although it is anticipated this will be from summer 2013. Given this, the tariffs set out by the previous government in the consultation document in February 2010 should not be used as a basis for predicting what future support may be.


Also today, plans to manage the budget for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for commercial, public sector, industrial and community-scale installations have been revealed to ensure its long term success. The proposals include a package of measures to be in place by the end of this financial year and a plan to control spending in the interim.

The £860m RHI opened in November last year to make it more financially attractive to install low carbon heating systems like heat pumps, biomass boilers or solar thermal panels.

Greg Barker said:

“Putting in place cost control measures for the Renewable Heat Incentive is the prudent thing to do, given this is millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money at stake and taking on board the lessons learned from the Feed-in Tariff scheme.

“We will ask industry for its views in the summer and in the meantime will arrange for interim measures to be in place to manage the scheme’s budget. Looking at the scheme’s current spending it’s unlikely we will need to use these short-term measures, however Ofgem will hold a series of conferences for potential applicants over the next few months so it is right for us to be cautious and have the ability to act should we need to.

“Renewable heat is a largely untapped resource and an important new green industry of the future. It’ll help the UK shift away from fossil fuel, reducing carbon emissions and encouraging innovation, jobs and growth in new advanced technologies.”

DECC will launch a formal consultation in the summer to explore different policy options to ensure the RHI stays within its budget. This could include a system to lower tariffs as the scheme grows. The plans would then be in place by the end of the financial year. This consultation will also include amendments to the existing scheme covering air quality and biomass sustainability issues as outlined in the original RHI Policy document.  As with the proposals above we hope to lay these in Parliament in November.

In the meantime, DECC is launching a consultation today proposing an interim measure to keep the RHI within the budgetary limits set by the Comprehensive Spending Review. This includes the possibility of giving industry one month’s notice to temporarily suspend the scheme to new entrants if 80% of the available budget is expected to be spent. In the interests of transparency and ensuring industry is not taken by surprise, regular updates on the budget spend will be published. These measures will be in place as early as the summer and will last until the longer term cost control system is in place.

DECC will consult in September this year about increasing the number of technologies eligible under the industrial RHI with a view to implementing the plans by summer next year.

DECC will also set out shortly its long term plans to decarbonise the heat sector when it launches its Heat Strategy.

  1. The new RHPP will provide
  • Around £10m – Social housing competition. Details about how to apply will be revealed when it’s launched at a later date. DECC will run a series of awareness seminars to improve the quality and quantity of bids.
  • Around £8m – Communities competition. Details about how to apply will be revealed when it’s launched at a later date.
  • Around £7m – Household voucher scheme, this money will also include costs to cover technical monitoring and evaluation. Pre-registration for the household voucher scheme will begin on 2nd April, with applications open on 1st May. Vouchers will be worth the same and cover the same technologies as the existing scheme
    • Ground Source Heat Pump – £1250 grant (for homes without mains gas heating)
    • Biomass boiler – £950 grant (for homes without mains gas heating)
    • Air source heat pump – £850 grant (for homes without mains gas heating);
    • Solar thermal hot water panels – £300 grant (available to all households regardless of the type of heating system used.

In order to help increase the rate of meter installation relative to the first scheme, a small change will be made to the voucher payment process. For heat pump installations, all householders will receive 80% of their voucher value when a valid claim is submitted, together with a signed checklist from the installer confirming the installation can be fitted with a meter. Householders will receive the final 20% following a visit from the metering team to check that the installation is really “meter ready” and install a set of equipment, or if their installer has been trained to install monitoring equipment and installs it on EST’s behalf.  If a householder has indicated that they are not meter ready, they will receive the final 20% of the grant at the end of the scheme. Installations of biomass boilers and solar thermal panels are not affected.

  1. As of 20th March 2012, under the existing RHPP scheme
  • 6412 vouchers to households have been issued with £4.8m allocated.
  • 37 social housing schemes have registered to the competition installing around 1100 installations with £4.2m allocated.
  1. The RHI consultation into interim cost control measures can be found here on the DECC website.
  2. Update to parliament, “Departmental note: Support for renewable heat technologies in the domestic and non-domestic sectors”.[filetype:pdf filesize: 29.6Kb]
  3. We are intending on consulting on the longer term cost control measures over the summer.

Source DECC

Ground Source Heat Pump Business Set For UK BOOM

Climate change minister Greg Barker said the Premium Payment scheme marks ‘a new era in home heating’ explained to  the Guardian

Householders across the UK are being offered grants of up to £1,250 towards the cost of installing renewable heating systems such as biomass boilers, air and ground source heat pumps and solar thermal panels.

This week the government unveiled a £15m Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme – which will open for applications on 1 August and run until March next year. The aim is to support up to 25,000 installations, with the money doled out on a first-come basis.

The scheme is mostly aimed at the 4m households in rural areas that are not connected to the mains gas network, and have to rely on more expensive heating such as that from domestic heating oil. The scheme is the precursor to the long-delayed Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which will eventually reward those installing these measures with payments similar to the feed-in tariffs that have been so successful in encouraging the take-up of solar PV.

But questions remain as to whether consumers should buy the technology until the government has revealed the exact RHI payments, and who will qualify. Few will want to invest the £6,500-£11,500 it costs to install a biomass boiler which typically burns wood pellets, only to find they won’t be eligible for payments that could be worth several hundred pounds a year when the RHI scheme finally comes into force next year.

The government says Premium Payment scheme will be run by theEnergy Saving Trust and the following payments will be available:

• Ground Source Heat Pump – £1,250 grant (for homes without mains gas heating).

• Biomass boiler – £950 grant (for homes without mains gas heating).

• Air source heat pump – £850 grant (for homes without mains gas heating).

• Solar thermal hot water panels – £300 grant (available to all homes regardless of the type of heating system).

Participants will be asked to provide detailed feedback on their experience through a set of surveys. This will allow the government to gather information to better understand renewable heat technologies. It is hoped the study will provide detailed information against which the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) can compare manufacturers’ and installers’ claims about performance.

Climate change minister Greg Barker said: “Today starts a new era in home heating because we’re making it more economical for people to go green by providing discounts off the cost of eco heaters. This should be great news for people who are reliant on expensive oil or electric heating as the Premium Payment scheme is really aimed at them.”

Philip Sellwood, chief executive of the Energy Saving Trust, says early field trials have shown high levels of householder satisfaction. “When people have the kit installed in their homes they really see the benefit. Of course there is still more to be learnt about how to get the most out of the technologies – but the more they’re out there in people’s homes, the more they become part of daily life. Without a doubt, the main barrier that prevents people from taking the plunge is the up-front capital cost. This is a great start in overcoming this obstacle.”

However, campaigners for the renewable sector have questioned whether the grants will be enough to get consumers to commit.

Cathy Debenham, founder of the YouGen website, says: “The government still hasn’t announced what rates will be available for the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive, and what the eligibility criteria are. Without this information, investment in renewable heat is still prohibitively expensive for most people. Unless people know the long-term financial implications of investment, these relatively small grants aren’t likely to be enough to persuade them to take an expensive gamble.”

Alan Simpson, former minister and current adviser to Friends of the Earth on renewables, says the latest move is further proof the government doesn’t know what it’s doing in this area. He described it as “a classic Decc mess”.

A spokeswoman for Decc says the plan is that people installing kit under the Premium Payment scheme should receive support through the Renewable Heat Incentive, providing they meet the eligibility criteria of the scheme. However, she admitted it was not guaranteed.

For more information on the Renewable Heat Premium Payment plan, call             0800 512 012       or visit Decc says the Renewable Heat Incentive will open for applications from 30 September. It will be administered by Ofgem E-Serve. Those interested in finding out information ahead of being able to apply in September can contact Ofgem E-Serve from on             0845 200 2122       or by

Grants of up to £1,250 mark ‘new era in home heating’

Government unveils £15m Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme