Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is power generated from the Earth’s natural resources including sunlight, wind, and water. Technology has been developed to make use of these energy sources and to reduce our reliance on non-renewable resources, such as fossil fuels.  

Benefits of renewable energy

By generating some of our own heat or power at home you: 

  • save money on energy bills, 
  • can benefit from any government subsidies available, 
  • have a warmer, cosier home or office, 
  • are less affected by increases in the price of electricity, gas and oil, 
  • are more self-sufficient, 
  • have a greener home or office, and 
  • have the pleasure of using cutting edge technology. 

To get the most out of any renewable energy it’s worth making sure that your house is as energy efficient as possible. There are two main types of renewable energy. Those that produce electricity and those that provide space heating and / or hot water. If you don’t want to generate your own (or can’t afford it) the best way to get renewable electricity is to sign up to a green tariff.  Like virtually every area of life, the renewable energy world has developed its own jargon which makes it more difficult for the newcomer to find out what it’s all about. We’ve put together a jargon buster to help you make sense of it all. 

Air source heat pumps

An air source heat pump is a central heating system that transfers heat from the air…

Batteries

Batteries, or home energy storage units, can be installed to store surplus energy produced by your solar PV system, which can then be used…

Biomass boilers

Biomass is a renewable energy source, generated from burning wood, plants and other organic matter….

Biomass stoves

Biomass is a renewable energy source, generated from burning wood, plants and other organic matter to provide warmth in a…

Combined heat and power

Combined heat and power (CHP) is a way of generating heat and electricity simultaneously. This is achieved through the on-site generation of electricity…

Community energy

Community energy is where people come together to engage in energy-related activities and take action to reduce or generate…

Electric vehicle charge points

When you buy an Electric Vehicle (EV) or a hybrid, it is likely that you will need or want to charge it whilst at home, as well as at public charge points….

Ground source heat pumps

A ground source heat pump is a central heating system that transfers heat from the ground using electricity…

Hydro power

Water was one of the first energy sources to be harnessed by humans. It seems likely that the first water power device was used in the…

Jargon buster

If there’s anything you’d like us to add to the jargon buster, please email us yougen@nef.org.uk

Solar electricity

Solar panels which generate electricity (known as solar PV) capture the sun’s energy using photo voltaic cells. Even on a cloudy day, the cells can still generate…

Solar thermal

Solar water heating (known as solar thermal) systems capture the free heat from the sun and use it to heat up water for use in the home…

Thermal stores

A thermal store holds excess heat, normally produced by a renewable heating technology (solar thermal, heat pumps or biomass), to be used to heat your…

Wind turbines

The pros and cons of wind power regularly fill the pages of newspapers, yet it’s still quite difficult to pin down the facts about it….