The most cost effective alternative energy systems?

Hi All

I am new to the forum ...

This post may have been better placed in the Green and ethical forum but my question is entirely focused on the financial aspects of alternative heating / energy systems rather than any ethical reasons...I think the ethical issues are fairly well debated already.

..Like many people I like the idea of alternative green energy , using systems installed in my property to heat my house , generate my electricity etc etc ....of course there are a myriad of systems out there water panel heating , ground source heat pumps , PV panels, Microgeneration CHP etc etc ...but I am struggling to find a reference that gives me an idea of what is most cost effective.Could anyone point me in the direction of any information please that discusses/ compares the total cost of ownership of these new technologies?(have searched the forums)

Ideally something like;

£ cost of traditional boiler appliance + British gas costs over specific time period to generate 28000Kwh
compared to
£ cost of microgen CHP boiler appliance + running costs over specific time period to generate 28000Kwh etc etc

I'm beginning to suspect that there are very few that are comparable on cost alone over a reasonable time period ..say ten / fifteen years ?..I hope I'm wrong ..I really fancy installing and playing with some of this new kit

Any input greatly appreciated.



  • Doberwoman
    I'm new too- so first of all- welcome! :j
    However, have been reading MSE for a couple of years now (been putting off joining proper as I know I'll get addicted).:rolleyes:

    We really want to be self-reliant in energy generation too, but have not invested the time into calculations yet. You may indeed have better luck in the green forum, as essentially its all about money saving at the end of the day; just a bonus when green = money saving too!

    My first thoughts were (if you haven't done so already):
    - check out Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in Wales; they may not have the financial emphasis you desire, but are certainly experienced in renewables
    - ask the Energy Savings Trust outright, after all, I hope that's what they're there for- as they do grants (or used to anyway) they could have the financial slant you need
    - have a word of your local council; all new building emphahsis is on 'eco' and if I recall correctly, all new housing development has to satisfy a social housing percentage. By extrapolating this, maybe they have research which shows a cost/benefits analysis of alternatives for themselves/ tenents?
    - see if you have a local 'transition' group; these attract self-reliant green types who could maybe share permaculture experiments they may have already been doing for a while now (such as alternative energy)
    - there are also geographical elements which will be unique to you; if you live in a town for example, wind power available could be reduced by surrounding buildings, etc etc. So what's cost-effective for someone else, may not be for you.
  • ormus
    ormus Posts: 42,714 Forumite
    not sure about CHP boilers as i dont know the cost of them yet. but i suspect that itll take 20 yrs to break even.
    all the other ideas are usually a waste of time. (apart from loft insulation). most will take 10 or 20 yrs to pay back. some will never pay back.
    lots of cowboy companies operate in this area now.

    the only way some ATs do pay back, is if you DIY them.
    Get some gorm.
  • SailorSam
    SailorSam Posts: 22,754 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Cheapest way to save on your heating costs is to buy a woolly vest.
    Liverpool is one of the wonders of Britain,
    What it may grow to in time, I know not what.

    Daniel Defoe: 1725.
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