Homeowner Blog

George Riley

Recent Posts

Do You Need Power Cut Protection?

George Riley 11 Feb 2020

At the end of January, thousands of homes local to us across Reading, Bracknell and Basingstoke suffered power outages for an average of 3 hours. This past week, Storm Ciara denied over 500,000 of us access to electricity. And last August the country was hit by the worst blackout in a decade, affecting hospitals, trains and over a million people. 

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Topics: Battery storage, Tesla Powerwall

Should You Rent Out Your EV Charger?

George Riley 06 Feb 2020

This week saw the government bring forward the ban on new petrol and diesel cars to 2035.

One of the most pressing challenges in encouraging people to switch to electric cars is building an extensive charging network. Most people charge at home, but there is always going to be a time when you need to top up on the go. A novel solution is to bolster the number of available chargers by opening up privately owned points for public use - peer-to-peer (P2P) electric vehicle charging.

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Topics: EV charging

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint: a 12 Month Plan

George Riley 15 Jan 2020

More and more of us are becoming aware of the urgency of the need to decarbonise our lifestyles. The latest warning from the IPCC gives us only 10 years to cut global emissions in half, or risk catastrophic damage to our climate. Whether you’ve gone solar or not, you may be thinking about how to reduce your carbon footprint. But where do you start?

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Topics: LED lighting, Solar PV

Smart Export Guarantee Tariffs: Which is the Best Rate?

George Riley 08 Jan 2020

The new year kicked off with the introduction of the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), which came into law on January 1st. It’s the long awaited return of a scheme to ensure solar PV owners are paid for the power they send to the grid, ending the policy void that’s existed since the Feed-in Tariff closed to new applicants last March.

According to the SEG, energy suppliers with over 150,000 customers must offer an export tariff with a rate greater than zero. The SEG is available for customers with an MCS-certified renewable energy system under 5MW and a smart meter.

With zero as the minimum, at the very least you can’t be charged for being relieved of excess solar power. However, suppliers don’t have to give you very much for it. So how much are they offering in practice?

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Topics: Tariffs, Solar PV

Octopus Shakes up the Market with its Tesla Tariff

George Riley 21 Nov 2019

We’re entering a period of dramatic change for the energy sector. From smaller independents breaking the hold of the Big 6 and consumers generating their own solar power to dynamic pricing plans and smart homes.

The latest innovation is one that combines all of these: Octopus’s Tesla Energy Plan.

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Topics: Battery storage, EV charging, Solar PV, Tesla Powerwall

How to Choose a Solar Inverter

George Riley 12 Nov 2019

The inverter is the heart of a PV system. It’s the crucial interface between your solar panels and the rest of the home, batteries or national grid. Aside from converting DC solar power into usable AC, it houses many of the system’s safety features and performance monitoring.

Given it’s such an important component, let’s talk about how to choose a solar inverter. What do you have to consider, and which is the best model?

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Topics: Solar PV

Best EV Charger for Tesla Cars

George Riley 31 Oct 2019

The electric car revolution is well underway and many people in the UK are now taking delivery of their Tesla Model 3. But have you considered how you’ll be charging your new vehicle? What’s the best EV charger for Tesla cars?

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Topics: EV charging, zappi

How to Get 5% VAT on Solar Panels

George Riley 04 Oct 2019

Another week and another upheaval in the world of solar… While the world wakes up to the imminent threat of climate breakdown, our trusty government has decided it’s the perfect time to hike the VAT on solar PV installations.

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Topics: Solar PV

Solar Tiles vs Solar Panels

George Riley 12 Sep 2019

With the increasing threat of climate change urging many of us to cut back on fossil fuels, solar is ever more appealing. It’s a technology that empowers individuals to supply themselves with clean, renewable energy at an increasingly affordable price. Innovation in this industry is constant, so let’s see how one of the developing trends in PV stacks up by comparing solar tiles vs solar panels.

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Topics: In roof solar panels, Solar PV

Solar Panel Maintenance Checklist

George Riley 06 Sep 2019

One of the most appealing aspects of solar PV is that it requires very little maintenance in return for decades of functioning lifetime. With no moving parts, solar panels aren’t put under the mechanical stresses inherent in other generators. But the system is a significant investment - with most of its return based on using its electricity - so a little upkeep is worthwhile to ensure it’s always performing at its best.

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Topics: Maintenance, Solar PV