Renewables given a homely booster

A NEW body was created in the North East yesterday to boost the use of renewable energy devices in homes and businesses.

A NEW body was created in the North East yesterday to boost the use of renewable energy devices in homes and businesses.

The North East Renewables Alliance, a collaboration of 12 microgeneration installation companies, was launched at Ramside Hotel in County Durham.

The companies are all based in the North East and accredited by the Mirco-Generation Certification Scheme. They have come together to provide a one-stop shop for the design and installation of renewable technologies.

They include photovoltaic panels, solar water heating, wood-burning boilers, small wind turbines, ground and air source heat pumps.

Alliance secretary Don Lord said the uptake of renewable microtechnology was predicted to be massive due to incentives through which people are paid for every kilowatt produced by their micro-renewables.

Mr Lord, who is managing director of Newcastle-based Engineering Support Partnerships, said: “Another advantage is the financial benefit from the technology’s energy efficiency.

“In the longer term the cost of energy derived from fossil fuels is only going to go one way, and that is up. There is also the issue of future power security.” The new body will seek to educate people about what is available in terms of micro-renewables and provide advice and assurance as well as a guarantee of quality installation.

Mr Lord said that the predicted demand would mean more jobs and the new body would strengthen the North East’s position in the wider renewable energy field.

TADEA, the not-for-profit energy company for the North of England, is providing the alliance with executive management and administration support.

TADEA chief executive Paul Jackson said: “Interest in renewable technology is growing rapidly with companies such as EDF, Royal Bank of Scotland and Tesco entering the market to offer advice and installation on a national basis.

“These organisations have the ability to advertise products and services on a widespread scale, and this will quickly raise public awareness of renewable technology and stimulate demand for installation.”

Malcolm Potter, regional microgeneration co-ordinator for the Energy Saving Trust, said: “The formation of the alliance is an incredibly positive step forward for the microgeneration companies in our region.

“Not only will it increase the competitiveness and visibility of local businesses, this will lead to much needed business growth and the creation of new and sustainable employment opportunities for people within our region.”

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