Grants are available for most of the renewable technologies suitable for the home, through the DTI Low Carbon Buildings Programme (LCBP). However, to qualify for these grants you must have maximized the energy efficiency of your home. The programme also requires that you use an accredited installer, and the LCBP website includes contact details for these, together with information about the application procedure. Grants are not available to DIY installers.
Many installers will offer a discount on bulk installations, so another way to reduce the costs may be to get a group of like-minded people together and all take the plunge at once.
The renewable energy sector is growing fast. As such it will inevitably attract rogue traders, overcharging their clients and carrying out substandard work. For this reason, it is advisable to either use an accredited installer or one that has been recommended.
The Ecos Trust has compiled a directory which is designed to help you choose a company based on factors such as availability of guarantees and complaints procedures. All those companies listed have provided a satisfied customer reference, and most are happy to discuss the technologies with you and give an honest opinion on their applicability and feasibility in your particular circumstances.
However, you are still advised to act on personal recommendations from friends or family to reduce the risk of employing a rogue trader.
The Renewable Energy Association represents renewable energy producers and promotes the use of sustainable energy in the UK.
Energy Savings Trust: This is a non-profit organisation, set up to promote sustainable and efficient use of energy. They do not have a telephone enquiry line as this is given to the local Energy Efficiency Advice Centres, so for telephone advice on energy efficiency call the Bristol and Somerset EEAC on 0800 512012