climate change

Renewable Energy in the Home: A Solution to Climate Change

Can the actions of one person have an impact when it comes to climate change?

Climate change is an issue that we would all like someone else to deal with. Whether it’s scientists in white coats, politicians sitting around tables, or the CEOs of international companies, everyone has their own idea of who should be fixing problems like global warming or our total dependence on fossil fuels. However, here’s where an old truth comes in: if you want something done right, do it yourself!

What can I do about Climate Change?

One of the easiest ways to have a positive impact is to reduce your energy usage. The best thing about reducing energy usage is that is also reduces your energy bill, so there’s a financial incentive for your work. Switching your light bulbs to CFLs is a great start, as is looking for energy efficient replacements whenever your current household appliances develop faults. Using a cold wash for your laundry and the summer heat for your drying are also good ideas. There are countless ways to cut down, and they all add up in the end.

Invest in Solar Panels and other renewable energy technologies

Renewable energy is the only environmentally-friendly alternative to fossil fuels. There are a huge range of renewable energy technologies on offer and they can lead to massive energy savings in the long run. The costs of solar panels are plummeting, down 80% on 2008, and the technology is only getting better, lasting longer and working harder. For a typical home solar PV system, you could end up reducing carbon dioxide emissions by a staggering thirty tonnes over the lifetime of the product. With the price of electricity set to keep on rising, investing in a solar panel is both good for the planet and great for your bank balance.

Be a Conscious Consumer

Another way to help the planet is by thinking about what you buy and who you buy it from. As Anna Lappe puts it, “every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.” Shop at your local farmer’s market instead of at a supermarket. Not only is the produce fresher, but it hasn’t travelled across the world at great energy cost either. Another great tip is to check Freecycle before buying a new product to see if someone has what you need already. If enough people cut demand by reusing instead of buying new, then wasteful manufacturing can be slowed, or even reversed.

Take steps towards preventing climate change. Complete Renewables are a group of renewable energy developers and installers based in Essex.

Complete Renewables Earns Merit Award for Workmanship Warranty

When it comes to something as important as work on your home, you want to be sure that you have renewable energy professionals that you can trust on hand.

The Independent Warranty Association (IWA) has given Complete Renewables a Merit Award for three consecutive years of 100% customer satisfaction. That’s an incredible achievement which shows you the kind of professionalism and quality that you can expect from the company.

Whenever Complete Renewables installs PV solar panels, thermal panels or ground/air source heat pumps, the customer is given a workmanship warranty and an insurance backup supplied by the IWA. When the customer registers the warranty with the IWA, they also complete a satisfaction questionnaire. The results have been collated, and over the last three years Complete Renewables has held onto its impressive 100% customer satisfaction record.

Clive, the owner here at Complete Renewables, is very pleased with his team’s hard work and professional attitude. “As a small family-business, I’m very proud of our reputation for high-quality service” he says. “This award from the IWA simply confirms what our customers have been saying for years: that we’re friendly, prepared to go the extra mile and extremely knowledgeable in the field of renewable energy technology.”

With so many businesses springing up to take advantage of the booming demand for solar panels and other green devices, it can be difficult for homeowners to know which companies they can trust. Awards like this one are an excellent way for customers to be sure that they are working with a reputable and experienced business. To find out more about the IWA, you can visit their website here.

Want to know what three years of customers are all so satisfied about? More often than not, you’ll be able to chat to Clive on 01621 827015, for a no-pressure discussion about renewable technology options for your home.

solar pv

How to Teach your Kids About Renewable Energy

solar pv

solar pv

It may be the parents who make the financial savings by switching to renewable energy, but it’s our kids who will be the real winners if we are able to prevent climate change and demonstrate a sustainable way of living.

It’s important that we teach our children about renewable energy, from solar panels to ground source heat pumps, and it is never too early to start. Here are some free resources to get your children into sustainability!

1. Touchstone Energy, “Kid’s Energy Zone”

An extensive and fun resource that covers almost every aspect of the climate change debate, with particular focus on the need to reduce our reliance on conventional energy supplies. This website comes is full of games and contains enough worksheets to keep the little ones busy for an hour or two.

This resource is great for young learners.

2. How Stuff Work, “Resource for Teachers”

Another site listing a bunch of excellent resources for teachers, this site is generally geared towards U.S. audiences, but the renewable energy is message is the same internationally! They also have a number of their own articles on green issues, such as this cool piece on the immediate impact of renewable energy.

The How Stuff Works website has resources for learners of all ages.

3. BBC, “GCSE Bitesize”

There’s no excuse for not doing your revision, thanks to this free website from the BBC. An invaluable resource for children taking their Geography GCSE, Bitesize explains the differences between non-renewable fossil fuels, and types of renewable energy, such as solar heating and solar hot water systems.

This is a resource aimed at students studying GCSE level Geography.

4. Prince’s Rainforest Project, “I am Tomorrow”

This colourful resource from the Prince of Wales tackles not only deforestation of the rainforest, but also highlights the importance of solar power for schools, exploring the necessity of solar heating systems and solar thermal panels on our public buildings.

This resource is aimed at Secondary School students, but there is something for everyone on the site.

5. British Council, “Green is Great”

These comprehensive worksheets encourage discussions about sustainability and alternatives to fossil-fuels. They outline various steps Britain could take to significantly lower its carbon emissions by 2050, and allow students to see the pros and cons of different energy sources, including solar hot water and wind turbines.

The website is designed for upper-intermediate English language learners, but the discussion is relevant to everyone.

Whether you are a parent, teacher, or even a student, do you know about any cool resources for learning about renewable energy that we missed?

Solar panels being fitted to church roof

How Much Can You Save with Renewable Energy?

Solar panels being fitted to church roof

We all know that renewable energy is good for the environment, but did you know that it can be good for your wallet too? Not only will you save on energy bills, but a range of incentives means that homeowners are paid by the government for renewable energy produced on their property or for investing in renewable energy heating systems. Want to find out how much you can earn? Read our blog to find out more.

1. Generation Tariff

A supplier will pay you for electricity generated by solar panels on your home – even if you choose to use all of it yourself! The going rate for approved solar panels, and at Complete Renewables we are always happy to check eligibility, is 14.9p per kilowatt-hour, which averages out to £540 per year on a typical system, according to Money Saving Expert. Nice!

2. Export Tariff

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, there’s a bonus 4.6p for every kilowatt-hour that you don’t use – or ‘export’ back into the grid. Under the current system, most energy suppliers don’t bother to fit you with an export/import meter to calculate exactly how much you export back into the grid. Instead they assume that you export 50% of the energy your solar panels produce – meaning additional bonus savings of £90 per year on average, even if you use all the energy for yourself.

3. Energy Bills

It’s no secret that energy bills are predicted to rise massively over the next twenty years, as we continue to rely on ever-dwindling stocks of fossil fuels. However, this means that for those who invest in solar panels, savings will rise massively too! The Energy Saving Trust estimates that the current rate of saving for a typical family is £125 per year  – good now, and it’s only going to get better.

4. Complete Renewables’s Summer Sale!

We are currently offering PV Solar Panels for under £6,000 to some customers in our summer sale, meaning that now is a great time to invest in solar panels. Our typical 4 Kilowatt system will earn you a profit of £1,600 in your first ten years, and an incredible £7,600 in the second ten years! This represents a healthy 14% investment, which is good for both the planet and for your finances.

5. Renewable Heat Incentive 

The savings and incentives don’t end with solar panels. The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is the world’s first long-term financial support programme for renewable heat. The government will pay you between £600 and a massive £2,300 to invest in a renewable heat source, including solar heating system and ground source pumps.

Solar thermal heating nets you £600 with the RHI, in addition to providing a family of four with up to 65% of their hot water needs, according to STA. If

you are a household of two, no need to panic, we can fit you with just one solar thermal panel, which provides you with free solar heated water for 70% of your hot water needs.

Interested in Saving Money and the Planet Yet?

How often do you get a chance to both make money and help the planet both at the same time? Renewable energy is a win-win move, so contact Complete Renewables today and see how much you could save!

Solar PV - Ground Mounted

Why is Renewable Energy Needed?

solar PV panelsThe world is dependent on fossil fuels for it’s energy supply. Currently, fossil fuels account for 80% of the world’s energy consumption. However, fossil fuels take millions of years to form and our reserves are depleting rapidly. This means that fossil fuels are non-renewable resources and society needs to find an alternative energy supply.

What is renewable energy?

Renewable energy is energy which comes from a natural source and is not depleted when used. Renewable energies include wind, wave and solar power. In the UK, we have copious amounts of wind and waves, and a little bit of sunshine, available to us. Why not make the most of that? The UK is currently making good progress with more people wanting to install solar panels on their roofs and wind farms being set up around the country.

There are many reasons for society to switch to renewable forms of energy.

Fossil Fuels are a Finite Resource

Fossil fuels are running out fast. Unfortunately, the world’s infrastructure is reliant on fossil fuels. They power electricity plants, heat our homes and provide fuel for our cars. Eventually, fossil fuels will run out entirely or become too expensive for people to afford. But you can’t change energy resources overnight! Switching to renewable energy takes time.

Fossil Fuels Contribute to Climate Change

Research shows that burning fossil fuels contributes to climate change, often referred to as ‘global warming.’ Though there is still more research to be done, we know that releasing so much carbon dioxide into the earth’s atmosphere is causing severe weather problems. These include melting polar ice caps, wildfires in the USA and heat waves across Europe and in India.

Scientists are saying that to avoid catastrophic changes to the planet, we must start reducing greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels in the next 10 years…

Renewable Energy is Better for the Environment

Fossil fuels not only cause climate change, but are also damaging the environment through land, water and air pollution. An example of this is air pollution caused by burning coal. Burning coal releases fine particles that can cause respiratory health problems if they are inhaled. These pollutants become part of the water cycle and create acid rain, which pollutes water, ruins land and corrodes buildings.

Arguably, renewable energy sources also affect the environment. For instance, wind turbines can impact migrating birds and dams can disrupt ecology of surrounding areas. However, the negative impacts are far less than those of fossil fuels and renewable energy is undoubtedly better for the environment overall.

Renewable Energy makes Economic Sense

Renewable energy not only makes environmental sense, but also economic sense. By switching 70% of the planet’s electricity production to renewable alternatives, Greenpeace estimates the world’s economy would save $180 billion per year.

The renewable energy industry is increasing employment opportunities worldwide and is gaining a lot of investment. In Germany, renewable energy accounts for a quarter of the nation’s energy consumption. As a result, renewable energy industries have created 380,000 new jobs. In the USA, solar power workers currently outnumber coal miners.

Renewable Energy can be Self-Sufficient

Currently, people are no control of their energy supply. They can chose which company to purchase their electricity from, but they have no means of creating their own energy supply. With renewable energy systems, people can have complete control.

The average person is able to buy their own solar thermal panels or an air source heat pump for their own home. Being in complete control of your energy means that you are not affected by changes in price or shortages from electricity or gas companies. In fact, installing solar panels can shave £223 off your annual electricity bill. With renewable energy, you can be entirely self-sufficient.

Renewable Energy is the Future

Renewable energy is the only way forward. There are many benefits of switching to renewable sources, primarily the fact that non-renewable energy sources will run out and there won’t be any other option. Renewable energy will never run out, and will therefore be able to supply our children and their children with the energy they need.

Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy For New Builds

Designing which renewable energy suits your new build can be a tricky task. You’ll want to ensure that the technology brings a real benefit to the new home whilst keeping costs down. Furthermore it’s not always clear which technology will suit your build.

Complete Renewables have developed a new service for developers, architects and self-builders. Working from your initial plans we’ll advise which type of renewable energy will suit your needs.

We’ve developed our service with two intentions

–       Firstly to provide a quick and clear picture of which renewable energy sources are suitable for a property. We’ll let you know exactly which technologies can be installed, the total savings for the future home owner, cost of installation and any government incentives available – such as the Renewable Heat Incentive or Renewable Premium Payment

–       Secondly, in response to building regulations, we’ll make sure you meet your required level of renewable energy. Whether you’re interested in simply meeting the minimum requirement, or looking for a longer-term reduction in carbon footprint and energy costs.

How Our Service Works:

Air Source Heat Pump New BuildWe’re experienced at dealing with planning stage drawings. From your drawings we’ll create detailed heat-loss calculations. Combined with the dimensions of your project, we’ll be able to ascertain exactly which renewable energy suits the development. Furthermore we’ll provide predicted heating/running costs and earning from government incentives such as the Renewable Heat Incentive and Feed-in Tariff.

There’s no charge for this service, and no obligation. All we ask is that you consider our proposal when installing your renewable energy

Some Information About Complete Renewables Ltd.

We are an established local business supplying and installing renewable energy throughout Essex. We are fully MCS accredited and work to the standards set out in the Renewable Energy Consumer Code.

We are certificated installers all the main renewable energy companies, including Dimplex, Mitsubishi, Samsung and Vallaint

Inset Roof Solar Panels

Helping New Builds Reach Their 10% Renewable Energy Target

The 10% renewable energy requirement is part of the national planning guidance and is enforced in regions. Put simply; 10% of a new build property’s energy requirements must come from a renewable source.

In reaction to this we’ve developed our new renewable energy specification service. Working from your architectural drawings and plans, we calculate a property’s expected heat loss. From this we design a heating system capable of providing a home’s warmth coupled with low energy bills. As part of this specification service, we’ll ensure the systems provides at least 10% of the renewable energy for the build.

Furthermore if you’re looking to reach your 10% target within a tight budget, we can specify for this also. For example a two panel solar PV or solar thermal system is inexpensive and may meet your needs.

As a business who works closely with a broad range of develops and self-build projects we have the experience necessary to ensure renewables complement rather than complicate your project.

Adding a renewable energy source to your project includes a number of benefits. Firstly, living cost for the new home owner will be reduced dramatically. Heightened public awareness of renewable energy coupled with the continuous rise of energy bills has led many home buyers to actively look for these technologies when buying a new home.

Secondly renewable energies provide an immediate positive impression. Developers we work with will make use of the hot water a solar thermal system can provide to encourage a purchase. Anyone viewing the property will be able to feel hot water flowing from the taps, whilst the immersion heater is turned off.

Thirdly renewable energies provide an impression of high quality and value. This combined with the look and feel of a new build creates a compelling combination.

If you’d like any further information, please get in contact. Either by phone, email or through our contact form.

MCS Logo

The Importance of MCS

When researching renewable energy the term ‘MCS accredited installer’, is probably one of the most important you’ll come across.

What Does MCS Stand For?

MCS is the Microgeneration Certification Scheme, it’s quality assurance scheme which is backed by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). MCS administer the Feed-in Tariff (FiT), Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP). They are responsible to ensuring those in the industry, both suppliers and installers, are attaining a high standard.

So Why Should You Use An MCS Accredited Installer?

If you’re interested in receiving any of the government incentives, such as the above mentioned FiT, RHPP & RHI, you’ll need to ensure you use a MCS accredited installer. Installing renewable energy is a highly technical process and requires a depth of knowledge and commitment to high quality. The MCS scheme inspects installers on a regular basis to ensure they are maintaining high standards. Furthermore, in order to become accredited an installer must pass a rigour testing procedure.

Additionally, benefits such as ‘permitted permission’ are only available to MCS accreditted installers. This allows the installation of renewable areas without formal application for planning permission.

Also, some insurance packages will only support MCS accredited installations.

More Information

If you’d like more information on the MCS scheme, please visit their website.

Complete Renewables Ltd. are an MCS accredited installer for solar PV, solar thermal and air/ground source heat pumps.


Fracking and Renewable Energy

As you can imagine as a renewable energy company we are very much opposed to the reintroduction of fracking. Firstly there are the short term risks of a contaminated water supply and localised tremours, secondly and more long-term is the damage done to the renewable/green sector.

Yesterday it was announced by IGas that there maybe up to 170 trillion cubic feet of gas. We’re always pleased to hear about reductions in the cost of heating, after all that is our primary aim when installing a new heating system. However, our concern is the long term implications. Ultimately gas will run out, or at least start to become cost prohibitive. Without a strong well developed alternative heating costs will spiral.

Presently the UK is well positioned to react to a reduction in gas production. Renewable energies are now an advanced technology with an established reputation as a capable heating source. However this reputation is limited. Presently those interested in renewables are largely from the building sector, rural location or with a specific interest in green technology. We need to extend this market to the mainstream.

This is where the Green Deal should step in. However, presently most customers are only aware of the boiler replacement schemes. They are not aware that renewables are also available under this scheme. By not focusing more determinedly on renewable sources we run the risk of resigning them to the fringe of the energy market.

The opportunity now is to move renewables to the mainstream. How many people are aware that an air source heat pump is more efficient that the most efficient gas central heating system? With a focus on the short-term benefits of increase gas production we run the risk of leaving the long-term benefit of renewable till it is too late. So we say leave fracking, it’ll never help the environment or reduce heating costs long-term, and instead commit to a more energy efficient future.

If you’re interested in find out more about fracking, there’s a very clever website at:

Green Deal Logo

Is The Government Getting Serious About The Green Deal?

When a new government policy is announced its launch is often accompanied by concerns that its demise is not in the too distant future. How many times can we point to policy which hasn’t quite caught the public’s imagination (or caught too much of it) and then been promptly binned?
There’s plenty of us in the industry who have high hopes for the Green Deal, but also fear for its future. Involvement in the deal isn’t cheap; it costs large sums of money to get staff up to speed. And we all remember the Home Information Packs – how much money was squandered during its brief life?
So when we heard that the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) was to be substantially increased, we were naturally pleased. Not only because it means our customers will get an even better deal, but because of the involvement of the Green Deal. All new installations will now require a Green Deal assessment prior to payment of the grant. This will result in an additional cost to the customer (probably only around £75 more than the previous EPC requirement) but that’s more than offset by the new payment amount.

By involving the Green Deal in the RHPP, not only does this increase uptake and so boost public awareness, but it also encourages customers to look at other areas to save energy. Too often we face the perception that energy saving features cost more to implement than they save. We don’t enjoy the reliable sun of the Mediterranean; we need to use a lot of energy to keep ourselves comfortable.  The more the Green Deal is popularised, the more often we will see people turn to renewable energy as a way to save for the future.

So let’s hope this the RHPP strengthens the Green Deal and renewable energy in general, it’s certainty a step in the right direction