Q I am committed to making my home, community or business greener and would like to generate electricity from biomass, wind and solar.  How do I decide which form of energy is best for me?

A At a very early stage we will do an initial overview of what solutions may best suit your needs and environment.  We then take this through to feasibility.  In a number of cases different energy solutions can be appropriate, but we will only put forward solutions where they are economically viable, so quite often this may mean just one type of solution.

Q What do you mean by economically viable?  Could you explain how CreativEnergy make money?

A We are a private business.  We invest our own money in renewable projects and we aim to generate a return on our investment.  Typically we view a project as viable if we are able to have our money paid back to us (break even) within 3-6 years.  Under our DES we pay for all the costs and we generate money from (1) selling electricity and heat to you (2) feed-in tariffs and (3) selling any surplus energy on to 3rd parties.  We also offer a solution where we just buy your feed-in tariffs and as a rule of thumb this would result in us paying between 40-60% of the total costs of the project (25-35% for solar).  You would receive this money once the installation is complete.

Q What are feed-in tariffs?

A Feed-in tariffs have been introduced in many different countries.  They are in operation in Ireland and will be introduced into the UK in April 2010.  They are an initiative aimed at promoting smaller scale renewable energy projects.  They work by providing  a fixed price for certain types of green electricity that is generated.

Q Why do you get the income from the feed-in tariff?

A Quite simply, because if we didn’t then the projects would not be viable and we would not invest.   In order for us to commit to the cost of each project we need to have some level of certainty over the income produced.  We take on the risk that the sun may not shine, or there may be too little wind (or too much) but we need a level of certainty over the income we do generate.  The feed-in tariffs are designed for exactly what we are doing, to enable projects to move forward that would not be viable without the feed-in tariff.

Q So you get the feed-in tariffs, what do we get?

A This depends on the solution you go for, but where we just buy the feed-in tariffs you get all the energy that the project produces.  You don't pay for this and you get 100% of the income from any surplus that you sell back to the grid.  You retain control over the project and all the intangible benefits too.
Q What if there is no wind or the sun doesn’t shine?  Where do I get my electricity from?

A Renewable energy can be variable.  One of the reasons why energy from wind, for example, is not more readily used is that it does not deliver a steady base supply.  None of this stops you heating and lighting your home as you are always connected to the grid, so where there is no electricity available from your wind turbine (because there is no wind) then you simply use energy from your existing supplier.  This happens automatically.  We will be in partnership together and we share the same goals as you, to generate as much energy as possible over the life of the project.  For that reason, we install the best, most suitable products for you, that we hope will generate energy day in day out. 

Q Do I need planning permission for this?

A The rules vary from country to country and for different types and size of equipment.  We are fully aware of the planning regulations for all the countries we operate within and will cover this aspect as part of our feasibility assessment.  We will never install any equipment unless it is fully compliant with all local and national laws and regulations.

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