Homeowners in the Scottish Borders have the chance to join the renewables revolution by taking advantage of a special offer from their local Energy Saving Scotland advice centre. Two information events will take place over the next two weeks 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 either of the events or by calling their local advice centre free from a landline on 0800 512 012. The first event will be held on 26 January at the Cross Keys Hotel's Oak Room from 3:00pm 7:00pm. The second event will be on 1 February at the Tontine Hotel from 6:00pm 9:00pm, in the Buchan Room.
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.
Paul Boustead lives near Duns with his wife. In November 2011, they had 12 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels installed on the roof of their home. Mr Boustead had been thinking about getting PV for a while, but it was too expensive. "I wouldn't have had the panels installed if it wasn't for the scheme", he says "I've had quite a few quotes in the last year, and some were ridiculous. My priority was to be able to generate my own electricity and to reduce my bills, while making money as an added bonus".
He points out that the panels have already been effective in the short time he's had them and in spite of it being winter: "It hasn't been very long since we got them so we haven't had had any bills yet, but the panels have already produced 120 [kWp] units since November. I would definitely recommend installing solar PV to others, especially with this price for the panels. Getting them through the scheme is definitely worthwhile. Hopefully in the next six to seven years it will have paid for itself".
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.