Common domestic renewable energy systems

There are a range of energy systems available to create renewable energy in domestic situations, but it is important to make sure your home is well insulated in the first instance.

If you are interested in installing your own renewable energy sources then you may need to check with your home insurance company and you may also need planning permission. The Planning Portal can guide you with relation to planning permission and has interactive guides and advice regarding common household projects. The Council's Planning pages may also be of assistance.

Ground source heat pumps
Heat transfer fluid circulates around pipes installed below ground transferring naturally occurring heat from the sub-soil to a specially created pump which can then use a lesser amount of electricity to increase the temperature for internal use.

Solar water heaters
Energy from the sun is absorbed by roof-mounted panels. Heated water or anti-freeze is then pumped around a heat exchanger at the bottom of a water storage tank to heat the water.

Solar panels
Photovoltaic panels convert sunlight into electricity by using a semi-conducting material, normally silicone. The energised electrons within the silicone generate a direct current of electricity which can be converted and connected to an existing electricity supply.

Wind turbines
Blades connect to a rotating shaft within a magnetic field which creates electricity. Various sizes are available and can be pole mounted or building mounted.

Biomass boilers and heating systems
Biomass is fuel produced from plants. For small scale domestic use it is normally wood pellets, wood chips or logs which can be burnt on a stand-alone stove for direct heat in a room or connected to a boiler for central heating or hot water system.

Further information on all renewable energy systems and government grants can be found on the Department of Energy and Climate Change website.