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Green Money: Planet-Saving Profiteers

By David Holmes on May 28, 2009

Generally speaking, choosing a renewable energy supply for a household’s central heating is a principled choice. It is not, however, traditionally seen as a way to make money. This is because the installation of, for example, solar hot water heating demands a hefty financial outlay – and the bigger the property, the bigger the upfront cost – which can be difficult to justify in these harsh economic times.

Whilst loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and double glazing are all superbly efficient ways in which energy can be retained, it takes a while for these to result in a significant financial benefit. Furthermore, they are cost-saving initiatives as much as they are environmentally friendly, which simply means that they will not make you any money but should save a bit – a perfectly respectable consequence, it should be added.

Nevertheless, it is possible to be green and actually generate money in the process. No, we are not talking about opening a fitness centre full of exercise bikes that are hooked up to a giant turbine – although that does seem like a fantastic idea – but instead a tried and tested source of renewable energy can produce a little sterling on the side.

Sunny Money

Solar panel installations, as aforementioned, can punch a sizeable dent in the bank balance. Because a solar-powered home remains hooked up to the National Grid, the home is capable of using traditionally generated electricity as and when the solar powered juice runs dry. However, if your solar panel installation is generating more energy than your home consumes, which is especially possible with larger installations, the extra power can be fed back to the National Grid.

The National Grid will then pay the home supplier for this excess under whatever tariff was agreed – normally, this will be either as a typical export tariff for the extra power or a generation tariff that includes all power generated by the panels.

So, what are you waiting for? Once you have the solar panels installed, all you need is a little unbroken sunshine…