Wednesday 18 December 2013

What does Energy Cost?

Where can you find authoritative data on energy prices?

The energy savings from solar heating is the main economic argument for choosing to install a system, and this will continue to be the case even with the imminent arrival of the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive in the spring of next year.  For solar PV systems the fall in cost of equipment and installation and the accompanying reduction in the Feed in Tariff means that own-use savings on electricity bills have become a much more significant component of the economic justification.
Energy prices have been changing rapidly, so it’s important for renewable energy businesses to have access to up-to-date, accurate and trustworthy price information to show to customers when modelling the financial benefits from their investment.

A quick survey of colleagues at a recent Solar Trade Association meeting produced the following list of resources.  Do you have any to add?  Please use the comments section below.

UK Government Statistics

There’s a wealth of energy statistics on the website, and the challenge can be finding the information you want.

By their nature, the statistics are backward-looking so often more than 12 months out of date.

Energy prices are often presented either as ‘average energy bills’ or stated as a percentage of 2005 costs.  The best source I could find was in the Quarterly Energy Prices publication, in which the following two tables show the unit price of energy:

Table 2.2.3 Average annual domestic electricity bills in 2012 for selected towns and cities in the UK with average unit costs

Table 2.3.3 Average annual domestic gas bills in 2012 for selected towns and cities in the UK with average unit costs


The Sutherland tables are a fixture of the energy industry, compiled quarterly since 1976 they show domestic energy costs heating and hot water costs across a range of standard house types across the UK.  The data is apparently used by government in preparing its own statistics, but there is a cost to accessing the data.

Boilerjuice is an online quotation website for heating oil.  It publishes average prices of UK heating oil:

Nottingham Energy Partnership

NEP publishes current average prices for electricity, gas, and heating oil together with many other fuels.  Also available are reports analysing trends over time.  This was the most relevant reference I could find for current energy prices.

Do you know of any resources you can share?  If so, please let us know in the comments section below.


Friday 6 December 2013

Domestic RHI - When can I join?

More clarity on legacy applications


If you have installed a qualifying renewable heat installation since 15th July 2009, you can join the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) when it starts next spring and collect seven years' worth of payments.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) published further details this week on the RHI that among other things outlines how applications from so-called 'legacy' applicants will be managed.  Application dates will be staggered as shown in the diagram above in an effort to prevent the administration of the scheme being overloaded.

Installations that did not receive a Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) voucher can apply from the day the scheme launches until the end of 12 months from launch.

Installations that received an RHPP voucher with an application date before May 2013 can apply from 3 months after the scheme opens for a period of 9 months.

All other installations (those that received an RHPP voucher with application date after May 2013) can apply from 6 months after the scheme opens for a period of 6 months.