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Chris Goodchild

Although this doesn't compare directly with the UK because I live in the Valencia region of Spain, I am completely off grid.

My PV system is a 12 panel MPPT 48v 6KW system, in addition I have a 150litre solar collector that provides enough hot water for three each day.

For heating in the evenings we have a 13KW rated woodburner plus an AC system with a heat pump that gives 3KW of heat for 1KW of electrical power spent.

The wood is pretty much carbon neutral as the supply is directly linked to local almond, olive and citrus production, plus some renewable pine.

PV wise with sunny days I get from 9 to over 11 KW a day on ten hours of daylight, right now with low morning sun the yield is running at 2.2KW, the hot water system is producing enough for all of our needs with daytime temps of 10 to 16°C and nights occasionally dropping to -1°C.

The PV system cost less than €6000 though I built the mounting system and assisted on the installation. Same with the small solar collector for the water.

I would have wind power too but although we have a lot of large turbinesin the region they don't scale down well, particularly in the foothills where I live as the wind tends to be either too soft or a gale.

Overall I think before considering any of this, one should do as much research as possible and independently of people who are trying to sell what you are looking for.

Living as I do 5.5Km from the nearest village it is not only necessary but relatively cheap and trouble free to be off grid but you have to look around to get the best deal and to know what suits your situation.

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what anout bio lpg? how does that rate?

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Adrian Vincent

Thank you for publishing this article!

There is zero chance of the UK government hitting its carbon neutral targets without tackling the thorny issue of domestic heating systems. And it’s a BIG challenge! If anybody is planning a big refurbishment project, planning for a low carbon and/or renewable heating system is not only a timely investment but a moral imperative.

Thank you for your real life insight Mandy Carmichael. My father has recently installed air conditioning at his house and he got trained himself to do the installation. He has also done quite a bit of research into heat pumps. Like you, he commented that training enough heating engineers was going to be one of the biggest hurdles to changing heating technology. It takes a lot of time and money. And it’s more complex than installing a traditional boiler so not as many people will want to or even be capable of learning all the necessary knowledge and skills to do it properly and safely.

I look forward to seeing articles on Houzz with real life examples of people installing air source and ground source heat pumps. I am planning my own project for later this year or next year (we own a Victorian property in London) so I won’t have anything to input for quite a while.


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