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Sustainable Energy


Often titled 'Community Energy' in greening campaigns, we've gone for a broader title. Whilst there are some fine examples of Community Energy projects, these tend to be in much larger settlements with commercial demand for large amounts of electricity during the day. So far our research has shown that without this demand a community project is unlikely to be viable as the export tariff to the grid is insufficient to justify the capital cost.

However, energy is a vital part of the campaign and of interest to many. In the following sections we intend to provide some useful and impartial information and local case studies.

Replacing oil fired boilers

The practical alternatives in Hambledon are limited to some form of electrical heating, either modern night storage heaters or  heat pumps. There are examples of both in the village and case studies are included on the Case Study page above.

Electric heating had a reputation for being expensive to run, but cheap to install. However, with heat pumps (air source or ground source) the opposite is true, and it is certainly challenging to install them in old houses.

We still have more research to do on heat pumps and hopefully those in the village who have them already will provide us with some 'real world' numbers. Initial thoughts are they are cheaper or similar in cost to run than oil fired boilers but significantly more expensive to install. The capital cost gap is unlikely to be bridged by the new Boiler Upgrade Scheme (a £7,500 grant from October 2023), but it is clearly worth applying for this if eligible. 

With the rapidly changing prices of oil and electricity, the variation in equipment prices and the uncertainty over grants, each installation will have to be judged on its own merits at the time of purchase. The ability to take advantage of flexible tariffs, such as those from Octopus Energy may also affect viability. Ensure that you have a reputable MCS registered installer who provides a Heat Loss Report first. We hope to provide information and case studies to make this easier. Click the button below to find out more:

Solar photovoltaic panels

We have more research to do here but click below to see an independent overview:

For local advice you could contact Covers (Builders Merchants) of Chichester. They have one of the largest Eco showrooms in the south of England. Click the blue button to see their range of products.

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