Most of the energy used in Britain comes from fossil fuels, such as coal, oil or gas, or from nuclear power. During the burning of these fossil fuels to produce heat or electricity, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are released into the atmosphere, and this gas is the main contributor to climate change. Energy use also results in sulphur dioxides which contribute to acid rain and to radioactive waste from the generation of nuclear power. Moreover, fossil and nuclear fuels depend on limited resources.
In contrast, renewable sources of energy such as the sun, wind, water (hydroelectric power, waves and tides) and wood do not contribute to climate change, produce acid rain or have the safety and waste issues of nuclear energy. Also they will not run out, offering a more sustainable option for our future energy supply.
This website is designed to help you discover how you can use small-scale renewable energy sources to help heat or power your home. It doesn't look at large scale power generation, or technologies that can only be used on coasts or offshore. Most of the solutions described here can be installed on a typical English home, with a few more applicable to farms or larger buildings.
If you want to find out more about how to use renewable energy at home, we recommend using our Renewable Energy Toolkit. This is a simple interactive questionnaire, which will deliver our suggestions for the most appropriate technologies for you to use on a web page, or by an e-mail sent to you. It will also explain why some of the other potential technologies may not be suitable for your particular home. More information is given about each suggested energy solution, together with a list of suppliers and installers local to youΦ.
On the other hand, if you just want to know a little bit more about a specific renewable energy technology, or the grants that may be available, then you can find out about them directly from these links:
- Solar water heating
- Photovoltaics (solar electric)
- Passive solar
- Ground source and air source heat pumps
- Wood – logs, pellets and chips
- Small and micro-wind turbines
- Small scale hydro-electric
- Beginners Guide to Renewable Energy
- Green electricity
- Renewable Energy on Your Farm
- Energy Efficiency
- Renewable Energy Gadgets
- Renewable Energy Grants
Finally, we have also included a little background information about climate change.
We have put this site together with the support of the Leader+ programme, the local authorities in Shropshire and Cheshire, the Energy Efficiency Advice Centres and technical advice from the National Energy Foundation and University College, London.
We hope that you will find the toolkit, and the rest of the Check Renewables website useful. If you would like to tell us about your views on the site, or on small-scale renewable energy, then please feel free to contact us.
Φ Local Suppliers and Installer lists are currently only available for residents of Shropshire and Cheshire.