Government EV Homecharge Schemes

So, what is the EV Homecharge Scheme? Each year, the number of electric vehicles on the roads in the UK rises. By 2020 it is predicted that over one million electric vehicles will be on the road. However, this means the number of electric vehicle chargers available to use on the roads will have to increase six-fold. The UK’s current target policy is to insist that by 2040, all new cars and vans sold in the UK should be zero emissions capable – that means battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric or hydrogen. In order to meet these targets the number of accessible chargers needs to increase. The availability of accessible and affordable charging options is the key to increasing the uptake of plug-in vehicles in the UK. That is why the government have various schemes available for both domestic and commercial premises.

EV Homecharge Scheme

government ev charge schemes

It comes as no surprise that most plug-in vehicle owners will carry out the largest proportion of their charging at home. Some Electric Car owners say they are put off having an EV charger installed at home due to the price. However, the government currently has the EV Homecharge Scheme, which is designed to help people cover the cost of purchasing an electric charge point. Each household/eligible vehicle owner is entitled to a contribution of up to 75% towards the cost of one charge point, to a maximum of £500 (including VAT).

Having a home charger will end up saving you money. The average cost to fully charge your car is just over £3. For example, to fully charge a 30kWh Nissan LEAF overnight will cost about £3.96 Whereas, if you were to use a rapid charging point, typically found at service stations, it generally costs about £6.50 for a 30-minute charge. A home charger is also far more convenient too. Charging points have not yet been installed in every service station and supermarket, in fact, currently, only 3% of supermarkets have chargers, this means you can spend a large amount of time driving around to find a charger. 

There are several different styles and brands of Electric Vehicle chargers to choose from in the scheme. The full list is available of the gov.uk site.

Workplace EV Charging Scheme

government ev charge schemes

The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) is a voucher-based scheme that provides support towards the up-front costs of the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charge-points, for eligible businesses, charities and public sector organisations. The scheme allows eligible applicants to claim 75% of the purchase and installation costs of a commercial EV charger, up to a maximum of £500 per install. You can claim for up 20 commercial EV chargers across all sites.

Having an EV charger at your business can benefit your business in many different ways. For example, having an EV charger for public use installed at your business premises could be a very lucrative investment. Many EV charger providers have chargers specifically designed for commercial properties, thus having the option to have a ‘Pay as You Go’ feature installed. This will bring a new stream of revenue to your business.

If your business is eligible for the Workplace Charging Scheme you can only redeem your vouchers with an authorised installer and can only install charge point models which are approved by OLEV.

The full range of eligible workplace charge points is available on the gov.uk website.

Awards for Feed It Green

It’s been a month of awards for Feed It Green and its staff; our solar panel repair engineers in Liverpool have garnered a few new achievements and accreditations! We’ve been rushed off our feet here, completing various assessments and courses for different organisations. We are very pleased that we can finally say that Feed It Green as a business and their staff have passed every single test, course and assessment!

Here is the list of all our achievements from this past month;

Feed It Green has passed it’s MCS Assessment

MCS Logo panel repair engineers liverpool

The MCS is a nationally recognised quality assurance scheme, supported by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). It provides the framework for the certification of micro-generation technologies used to produce electricity and heat from low carbon sources.

They have recently launched a nationwide campaign of independent site inspections to evaluate how customer protection is being assured. The inspections will assist with monitoring compliance of MCS standards, assessing the effectiveness of standards and reviewing how they support the consumer journey as well as reviewing technical compliance. In order to pass the assessment, each business must prove that they are compliant with the latest industry standards for each criterion of the assessment!

We are proud to announce that Feed It Green has officially passed its MCS inspection! This means that we not only meet the industry standards, but we have exceeded them!

Patrick has passed his IPAF Course and his SMSTS Course

We are very proud to announce that Patrick has not one, but two courses!

Firstly he passed a course with the IPAF. The IPAF is a not-for-profit organisation which promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment through providing technical advice and information; through influencing and interpreting legislation and standards; and through safety initiatives and training programmes.

He has also passed his Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS). The course covers all relevant legislation affecting safe working in the building, construction and civil engineering industries. This course is endorsed by Build UK as the standard training for all construction managers.

The qualifications gained are both highly respected within the installation field. Well done Patrick!

Brian has passed his 18th Edition

Another member of the ‘Feed It Green’ family has gained a highly respected qualification! Brian has passed his 18th Edition. The 18th edition course is aimed for practicing electricians and ensures that they are up to date with the latest industry regulations on wiring and the safe use and operation of electrical equipment and systems.

A big congratulations to Brian!

Feed It Green Awarded Certificate of Verification by RISQS

RISQS Logo

We are very happy to announce that Feed It Green is now a verified supplier for RISQS. This is a nationally recognised organisation, they support the safe and cost-effective procurement of railway products and services, providing assurance for 110-plus buyers including Network Rail and TFL. This means we are certified to supply equipment to the GB Rail Industry. This is very exciting for Feed It Green!

Our solar panel repair engineers in Liverpool have definitely made us proud and will continue to do so! Keep your eye on the News page to see our exciting upcoming announcements!

Is Britain Sunny Enough for Solar Panels?

solar panel maintenance
solar radiation
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British Weather Won’t Power Solar Panels!

There are many myths and misconceptions about owning solar panels and the rate in which solar radiation is generated in the United Kingdom. As the United Kingdom is generally known for it’s rainy and windy weather, a large percentage of the population are under the impression that Britain is not sunny enough for Solar Panels. Considering many Brits complain about the low levels of sun we see on the British Isles in comparison to our neighbouring European countries, like France and Germany, it is no surprise that many people are under the impression that Solar Panel efficiency is at an all-time low. However, despite the wind and the rain, the United Kingdom is actually a great location for efficiently working solar panels.

The UK and Sunlight

It may come as a surprise to you to know that the United Kingdom actually gets similar amounts of solar radiation as some of our European neighbours. This means even though we may not be getting the same amount of heat in the United Kingdom, we are still getting the same amount of sun exposure.  In fact, some Southern parts of the United Kingdom get the same amount of solar radiation and sunlight exposure as Germany, which is one the leading countries for the use and production of solar panels!  

solar radiation

The top countries for photovoltaic power production are China, Japan, and Germany. For each of these countries, the development and use of renewable energy is considered a high priority. In China, they are aiming for 70% of their energy to be generated by Solar Panels by 2050. In Germany, they are producing enough renewable energy in six months to power the country’s households for an entire year. By 2022, Germany is aiming to phase out its nuclear power plants through the expansion of wind and solar power installations under Germany’s long-term drive towards a low-carbon economy, as well as the exploitation of storms.

Considering we have very similar Solar Radiation to Germany, this means we too could become more produce enough renewable energy to power our country too.

But What About Britain’s Cloudy and Windy Weather?

Whilst Solar Panels are obviously more efficient if they are in direct sunlight consistently, the sun doesn’t have to be strong or hard hitting for solar panels to work. They can still produce a significant amount of solar energy when it’s cloudy and grey. Wind can also be beneficial to the efficiency of solar panels. Whilst many people considering installing solar panels may regard wind as a potential threat to the efficiency and maintenance of their solar panels, it has been found that the wind can actually serve as a cooling mechanism for the panels, this can lead to increased efficiency.

What About Snow?

It’s no secret that winters have become more extreme over the past years. Each winter the heavy amount of snowfall seems to reach record rates in certain parts of the country. This heavy snowfall will definitely affect the efficiency of Solar Panels, right?

Well, when your solar panels were installed, the engineer will have placed them at an angle which will optimize and maximize their performance efficiency.  This means that, in theory, the snow should melt off the solar panels as whilst the panels are working, they will have built up some heat.  In the event of extremely heavy snow, it might be wise to phone in for a maintenance appointment to have the snow removed from your Solar Panels. Roof work is dangerous, especially in snow, so it is always best to call in professionals if you need any work undertaken on your solar panels. Sometimes the snow can help boost your solar panels performance. The snows surface can reflect the sun’s photons from the ground on particularly clear days.

The United Kingdom, without a doubt, gets enough sunshine for Solar Panels to be efficient and effective. Whilst there are many rumours that say the UK isn’t hot enough or isn’t sunny enough, these claims have been proven to be false. Solar Panels rely on sunlight, not heat, to be powered, therefore it doesn’t matter that we don’t have summer weather like France and Spain, we can still rely on solar energy as a reliable renewable energy source.

The Benefits of Installing an EV Charger

Benefits of EV Charger
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The ownership of electric vehicles is on the rise and as a result, various benefits of the EV Charger have also arisen. The UK has the 4th highest number of electric cars in Europe with over 195,000 electric cars and 8,500 electric vans on the road this year. By 2020 it is predicted that over one million electric vehicles will be on the road in the UK. However, this means the number of electric vehicle chargers available to use on the roads will have to increase six-fold. Currently there are 19,804 connectors available to use in the UK at destinations such as service stations and supermarkets. The highest number of chargers are located in Greater London.

EV Charger Graph

What are the Benefits of EV Charging?

By 2020 there will need to be over 100,000 EV chargers on the roads available for public use, in order to meet the demands of the number of electric vehicles on the road.  The government has launched several schemes for residential and commercial properties to try and make the demand for EV chargers more affordable.

By owning an electric vehicle, you will be reducing the amount of air pollution you produce, which is great for the planet and great for the air of Great Britain.  However, “Range Anxiety” is still an issue for many EV owners. The fear of setting out on a journey but running out of charge, or not being able to find a charger before reaching their final destination, is something that puts off many drivers from owning an electric car. Luckily, with sites like Zap Map, EV owners can find the nearest EV chargers to them and plan their journeys accordingly. “Range Anxiety” can be curbed by installing a home charger.

Home

There are many benefits that come with having an EV charger installed at your home. They are far more convenient to use in comparison to public use chargers and are also very cost effective. Some Electric Car owners say they are put off having an EV charger installed at home due to the price. However, the government have a grant for home owners that will cover the cost of 75% of the installation costs, so long as the charger is selected from the pre-approved list. This could save you hundreds of pounds.

Other benefits include;

Cost Effective

Charging your Electric car from home is generally far cheaper than charging your car at Rapid Charge points at the service station. The average cost to fully charge your car is just over £3. For example, to fully charge a 30kWh Nissan LEAF overnight will cost about £3.96. Whereas, if you were to use a rapid charging point, typically found at service stations, it generally costs about £6.50 for a 30-minute charge.

Convenient

Having an EV charger installed at home is far more convenient and time effective than relying on public use chargers.  Depending on where you are in the country, coming across a public charging point can be rare. Charging points have not yet been installed in every service station and supermarket, in fact currently only 3% of Supermarkets have chargers, this means you can spend a large amount of time driving around to find a charger. If their charger is out of order, you’re not first in line for the charger or it’s not a rapid charging station, you could find yourself waiting around for hours until your car is charged. Being able to charge your car from home means you would be able to save yourself time and money.

Faster

Home chargers are generally much faster than regular public EV chargers. Depending on the size of the EV charger, your car can be fully charged in as little as one hour. This means you could be on the road with a fully charged battery much quicker than if you were to use a public charger, unless you were to use a rapid charger which are not cheap to use!

Customisable

Depending on which brand of EV charger you opt for, you can choose the colour of your EV charger. For example, the Rolec Wallpod: EV comes in a variety of colours, so you can choose a charging point to match the colour of your car, door, house or just choose your favourite colour. Prices for the Rolec Wallpod: EV start from just £129, they are also approved for the OLEV government grant, making it significantly more affordable.

Rolec Wall Charger

Property Value

Every year more people have chosen to swap their petrol or diesel vehicle for an electric or hybrid vehicle, which means the demand for charging points becomes higher. Having an electric vehicle charging point installed at your home could add value to your property, thereby making your property more attractive to potential buyers if you choose to sell. If you decide to move, most chargers are easy to relocate.

Business

The benefits of having an EV charger installed don’t just extend to home owners. There are many benefits to having an EV charger installed for business owners. If your business can provide charging points for the public to use it will put your company on the map. There are a number of government schemes that can help your business afford to have EV chargers installed at your establishment.

New Revenue

Having EV charging points can bring in an additional stream of revenue for your business. Many EV charger providers have chargers specifically designed for commercial properties, thus having the option to have a ‘Pay as You Go’ feature installed. The more electric vehicles there are on the road means the need for public charging points gets higher. Having an EV charger for public use installed at your business premises could be a very lucrative investment.

More Customers

Having a public EV charger can gain your business more foot fall. Electric Vehicle owners use apps such as Zap Map to plan their journeys around where public use EV chargers are. This means your establishment could be a potential stop for EV owners to charge their vehicles. Whilst waiting for their vehicles to charge there is a high chance you could gain a new customer, as they will be tempted to browse/use the facilities that your establishment offers. This will give your business a chance to make an impression and gain a new client base.

Improves Business Image

Your business image could be vastly improved by having public use EV chargers installed. You would be seen as encouraging the use of electric vehicles, thus making your business known as being environmentally aware. This will attract environmentally conscious clientele to your establishment.

Employee and Visitor Satisfaction

If staff and visitors have the option of being able to charge their vehicles whilst inside your establishment you could see a boost in both employee and visitor satisfaction. Currently, many EV owners have to plan their journeys around Zap Map destinations to ensure they don’t run out of charge, if they can charge their vehicles at your establishment it could save them time. Thus, you will have a higher retention rate of both staff and customers.

EV chargers provide benefits for both home owners and business owners. They will not only save money, but they can add value to a home and add a new stream of revenue to a business. With all the benefits they provide, we believe that the installation of an EV charger should be considered as an investment rather than a cost.

The Importance of Solar Panel Maintenance

solar panel maintenance
Solar Panels
Well maintained solar panels.

Solar panels have fast become one of the most desirable pieces of technology to add to your home; as a result, regular solar panel maintenance is essential. Over 840,000 households in the UK are now using them. They are a clean and reliable source of sustainable energy, that will reduce your carbon footprint whilst saving you money. One of the most appealing factors of Solar Panels is that they require very little maintenance.  They typically have a lasting time of up to 25 years, so they are built to last!
This doesn’t mean that your solar panels don’t need any maintenance. It has been proven that your solar panels can have a reduced efficiency of up to 30%.  There are various factors, that can occur on both residential and commercial properties. These can significantly affect the efficiency of solar panels.

What can affect my Solar Panels?

Generally you will find that your solar panels will require very little maintenance and attention. However there are some factors which can affect the amount of energy your panels produce. 

Dirt & Grime

Whilst the high amount of rainfall we have in the UK does keep your panels clean to an extent, dirt and grime can still build up. High levels of dirt and grime will stop your solar panels being able to absorb sunlight efficiently.  Over time this will significantly reduce the amount of energy your solar panels generate.

Wildlife
Pidgeon on Roof

Animals such as pigeons are very prone to nesting underneath solar panels. The angle that the panels are placed provides a sheltered and dry space, perfect for laying eggs. Whilst we’d love to provide all animals with a safe space, nesting birds are one of the biggest reasons residential and commercial buildings can have higher than expected seasonal solar panel maintenance costs.

Weather

We are lucky in Britain with our climate, we aren’t often subjected to severe weather, such as hailstorms and hurricanes. This doesn’t mean we don’t get our fair share of strong winds and heavy snow. Weather like this can cause damage to your panels.

Trees

The trees in your area can massively affect the efficiency of your solar panels, from leaves blowing onto your roof, to overgrown trees casting shadows on your roof. Shadows on your solar panels are one of the biggest performance inhibitors to efficiency, if 30% of the cells in your panel are covered by heavy shade then 30% less energy will be produced.

If any of your Solar Panels are affected by these issues, the amount of energy they generate could be compromised. The longer they remain unmaintained the less efficient they will be.

Should I Carry Out the Solar Panel Maintenance Myself?

Whilst you might be tempted to carry out maintenance yourself, it is recommended that any work carried out on your Solar Panels is undertaken by a professional.

Expert cleaning

Certain chemicals and cleaning equipment can damage your solar panels. Anything rough or abrasive could result your panels to be repaired or replaced which will be very costly to you. A professional will know which products are best used for your Solar Panels and will also be able to efficiently clean each panel ensuring you get the maximum output!

Identify Potential Issues

A professional will also be able to identify any potential problems before they become a major issue. Such as shadows from satellites or trees, any loose cables, build up or damage from debris and any wildlife problems.

Performance Test

Whilst cleaning and checking your panels, a professional will also be able to undertake a performance test. They will be able to do an in-depth analysis to judge the efficiency of each panel. This will give you a full report on how well your panels are doing and give you peace of mind that your solar panels are producing the highest amount of energy possible.

Check Components

In every maintenance check, a solar panel professional will be able to check each component of your panels to ensure that they are all working efficiently. While it is rare that solar panels will have faulty components, it is always important to check, otherwise you could be losing out on the maximum amount of energy your solar panels produce.

Humane Wildlife Removal

Wildlife, such as birds, tend to have a habit of taking shelter under solar panels, which can unfortunately wreak havoc on the amount of energy your panels produce. Trying to remove the wildlife can result in injury to you, injury to the animal and damage to your solar panels. A professional will be able to remove the wildlife humanely and safely without damaging any parts of the solar panels.

Roof Work is Dangerous

Finally, and most importantly, roof work can be extremely dangerous. Without the proper equipment and specialist training, attempting to under take work on a roof can be fatal. It is always best to leave any work your solar panels need to professionals, they are highly skilled in Solar panel maintenance and safe roof work procedures.

What Can I Do?

While it is important to leave the maintenance of your solar panels to professionals, there are still things you can do from your home to check that your solar panels are working efficiently.
You can;

Monitor Tree growth and New Builds

Keeping a close eye on the growth of trees and any new buildings in the vicinity of your property can be extremely beneficial to the maintenance of your solar panels. You will be able to see if any shadows are falling on your roof and be able to call in someone before you lose a large amount of energy output.

Monitor Performance

Document the amount of energy your solar panels produce on a day to day basis. If your solar panels are working efficiently you should be able to see a consistent pattern of output. Make a note of any cloudy days to account for anomalies within the data. If the pattern shows that the level of output is declining, it would be beneficial to call in a maintenance team.

Watch Out for Wildlife

From the ground you should be able to see if there is any wildlife inhabiting your Solar Panels. If you can see any feathers, bird droppings or an increased amount of activity from birds around your roof, it may be the time to call in a maintenance team to humanly relocate the wildlife. The maintenance team may also be able to install some anti-wildlife equipment such as a solar panel mesh which provides protection from every type of bird by blocking their access to underneath the solar panels.

When your Solar Panels are working to their full capacity, the amount of money you can save is huge, however if unmaintained you could potentially lose out on a vast amount of energy production and thereby losing out on any money you could save. Keep a close eye on your daily energy production and if you’re in doubt it’s always worth calling in professionals to take a look.  

If you want to find out more , check out the Maintenance and Operations page.

Feed it Green Working With Southport NHS

Overhead of Feed it green

Feed it Green are excited to have helped Southport NHS with proposals for a new mental health hospital. Take a look at the full article via the link below:

This is what Southport’s brand new mental health hospital will look like

These pictures show how Southport’s brand new NHS mental health hospital will look.

The new facility could be built on the site of the former Christiana Hartley hospital, on the corner of Scarisbrick New Road and Curzon Road, after plans were submitted to Sefton Council following a successful public consultation.

It will house 44 patients in en-suite beds and feature visiting spaces, consulting and treatment rooms, and a outdoor garden.

Read the full article

Check out our About page for more information on the work Feed it Green does!

ChargePoint EV Chargers Receive Significant Software Update

EV Charging Hardware

We found this interesting article on the development of EV chargers. ChargePoint EV have added some interesting software upgrades to their systems for home users. They can now control their chargers via an Amazon Alexa assistant.

Take a look at the below and follow the link for the full article:

ChargePoint, the world’s leading electric vehicle (EV) charging network, today announced that ChargePoint Home now offers integration with Amazon Alexa enabling EV drivers to manage home charging using only their voice. To further simplify ownership for EV drivers, the new mobile app features help drivers to find charging spots using station photos and get notified when a charging spot opens up.

Offering unmatched smart home integration, ChargePoint Home now empowers drivers to ask Alexa to start and stop charging, find out whether their vehicle is plugged in and see how many miles have been added. Any driver can ask Alexa about their account balance or how much they spent on charging. As ChargePoint Home also works with Nest to report on energy use, EV drivers can now connect charging to multiple parts of the smart home for an even simpler charging experience.

Here’s the full article.

Check out our page on EV Charging for more information!

Solar PV System for Major Lime Street Development

Lime Street

Feed it Green are at it again, this time in Lime Street! We are proud to be working on one of the most exciting development projects in our hometown. We’ll update you all with details of the solar PV system we’re installing once the project is complete.

These images show the dramatic new look planned for Lime Street as part of a £35m regeneration of one of Liverpool city centre’s major roads.

Regeneration Liverpool, with developers Neptune, are proposing to create a new hotel, retail and student accommodation complex stretching between – and behind – The Vines and The Crown.

The refurbishment of the busy street will see the loss of the Futurist building, but officials behind the project plan to use part of its facade within the development.

Here’s the full article.

For more information on Solar PV, check out the page on our page on the installation process!

Feed it Green to Install Solar System For New Merseyside Police HQ

Police HQ

Feed it Green are delighted to be supplying a solar PV system. This time for the new command centre for Merseyside Police!

We’ll upload a full case study to this website once the work is complete.

Morgan Sindall is tipped to take the contract to build a £44m operational command centre for Merseyside Police in Speke.

The firm is said to have beaten rivals Laing O’Rourke and Wates for the job, according to sources close to the project. This could be the first of a bigger pipeline of work for the force.

The planned three-storey building will include changing accommodation, a gym, an armoury and equipment stores on the ground floor, with office accommodation for specialist units on the top two floors.

It forms part of a 10-year programme worth £130m to update and improve the force’s buildings, while saving running costs on the estate.

View the full article here.

For more information on Solar PV, check out the page on our page on the installation process!

Home Battery Storage Units Have Arrived

Home Battery Storage Unit

The Sonnenbatterie just one of the new efficient home battery storage units now available!

home battery

You can now reduce your electricity cost even further with a Home Battery storage solution from Feed it Green. The electricity that your solar panels generate but is not used can now be stored so that when you arrive home in the evening all of your electricity  is already safely gathered and stored.

This means that you draw very little if any power from the grid and that your solar panel system can now meet your energy consumption demands, even when its dark outside.

How Home Battery Storage Works:

Diagram

Active Energy Manager

The smart meters of the Sonnenbatterie system detect when more solar power is available than is needed directly for self-consumption or charging the home battery. To optimize self-consumption of the power from your solar power system, the Sonnenbatterie automatically switches on appliances through smart plugs. This allows high-power loads such as washing machines, dishwashers and electrical heaters to operate with surplus solar power during the day, with no need for you to be at home or look after this yourself. This also reduces your usage of costly grid power. The smart plugs can also be switched on manually at the appliance location or with the Sonnenbatterie mobile app, anytime and anywhere.

Contact us now, for more information!