Homeowners in Edinburgh have the chance to join the renewables revolution by taking advantage of a special offer from their local Energy Saving Scotland advice centre. An information event will take place at Blackhall Library to let people know about the scheme, which allows households to install electricity-generating solar panels at a specially arranged low price. The advice centre, funded by the Scottish Government, provides free and impartial advice and is promoting this offer with an accredited installer following a rigorous selection process. Householders can find out more about the offer and register their interest by dropping in to the event or by calling their local advice centre free on 0800 512 012. The event will be held at Blackhall Library on 31 January from 4:30pm 7:30pm.
Installing a solar photovoltaic (PV) system is now cheaper than ever before, and those who have the system installed can also access a Scottish Government-funded interest free loan to help cover the costs. The systems can earn money under the Feed-in Tariff scheme too, which makes switching to renewable energy a worthwhile investment.
Shelagh Guthrie lives with her husband in a detached house in west Edinburgh. They installed solar PV in November 2011 as part of the advice centre's scheme. Shelagh decided to go ahead with the installation for a mix of financial and environmental reasons. She her husband had been thinking about it for about a year before deciding to install. From what they had seen, it seemed too expensive. Shelagh explains: "We'd had a quote a few months ago. Someone just phoned us and offered to do twelve panels for about £19,000. Thanks to the scheme, we were able to install sixteen panels for around £8,300. That's a big difference". The installation process was simple for the Guthries too. "It was absolutely fine", Shelagh explains. "The surveyors came out to check the house and the panels were installed three or four weeks later. It took about a day and went smoothly". For anyone who is considering installing a solar PV system, she has this to say: "Go ahead and do it. Obviously, it will help the environment in the future and even if we're not around for it, it will benefit our children and grandchildren. And if you can get a bit of money out of it, that's also good".
The two upcoming events are a great chance to meet your local advice centre's renewables specialists, talk to an installer about the benefits of renewable technology and find out about other ways to make your home more energy efficient.