Biomass: David and Helen Poole

A combination of living in a village with no running gas main and the ever increasing cost of oil lead us to explore alternate routes for heating our new build 4 bed house. Several years earlier we had stumbled across a wood pellet heater at an NEC home exhibition and it had left an impression. Not only was it kind to the environment but was also fully automated meaning it could go months with very little human intervention. With oil prices rising out of control it was starting to look like a logical alternative. Then the government announced its green fuel incentive which meant that it was looking like a no brainer from a cost savings point of view.

Now that we were decided on the type of heating system we wanted we then had to source an installer and product that would meet our tight budget. The more we investigated it became very apparent in the disparity between prices for products and installation. Finally after many hours of searching accredited boilers we found a Danish company called Scandtech that did a very reasonable priced boiler with good solid history in the industry.

It was a great relief when we finally found PG Plumbing and Heating Ltd who from the first phone call demonstrated that they understood and were passionate about biomass.

Helen Poole - Newark

The next task was to find an installer that needed to be MCS accredited. Often the prices were astronomical for a few days labour and didn’t always include full installation. It was a great relief when we finally found PG Plumbing and Heating Ltd who from the first phone call demonstrated that they understood and were passionate about biomass. Pete (the main installer) had a very clear way of explaining the process and talked us through the process step by step.

During all of our conversations Pete answered our questions in a clear and logical manner and was quick to respond to further enquiries. He also came out late at night at a time to suit our work schedule to see where the boiler was hoping to be installed.

Pete runs a professional team of fully qualified plumbers who are able to complete a full installation, including the flue.

The price was very reasonable for the length of work carried out and even after installation was complete Pete has been available over the phone for additional support.

We would fully recommend PG Plumbing and Heating Ltd and intend to use them for any service or maintenance in the future.

Solar PV: Graham and Stephanie Villiers

Having decided we wanted to go ahead with PV installation Peter at PG Plumbing was recommended to us. My husband and I cannot speak too highly of Peter and his team.

Our installation was not straightforward in that a chimney needed a height reduction and, due to the site of the chimney, complex scaffolding was required. Peter sourced a roofer to accompany him and also arranged the scaffolders.

We cannot stress the professionalism of Peter and his team too highly. They completed an excellent job and we would have no hesitation in recommending them.

Stephanie Villiers

On installation day Peter and his team arrived on time and proceeded to work hard and cheerfully over the next two days. Sadly the scaffolders were a little late in arriving which delayed matters for the team but they worked on regardless to the point where arc lights were required so they could work on into the night. Although the job was completed that evening, Peter wanted to be sure it was monitoring correctly and, as this could only be tested with light the following morning, he stayed a further day to check this meaning he missed his son's first morning at school - above and beyond the call of duty!

In addition to installing the PV the roof itself was well cared for with any broken tiles replaced and the roof and site left in a very tidy manner.

Peter made sure we understood the working of the whole system and what we should expect. He kindly attached my wireless electricity monitor to the output so that the level of production can be seen easily. The certificate and all paperwork was completed promptly.

We also love our PV and rushing to switch on the washing machine when the clouds disappear!

Solar PV: Merricks Organic Farm

At the beginning of November we have generated 3300kW and should therefore easily achieve 3700kw by it's anniversary. The kit itself arrived in a very large cardboard box which contained the panels, inverter and the rail system for attaching to the roof.

Our system which was installed at the end of February 2011 has performed exactly as predicted overall.


The main complication was adapting the main roof brackets to our old farm building roof. Once this was worked out the installation proceeded smoothly. The FIT payments via Eon have taken place promptly and are very nice to see in the bank. There is not much else to say, it has done, as they, exactly what it says on the tin!

We are so impressed that we are considering a much bigger system though the recently announced government review looks to put a stop to that.

Solar Thermal & PV: Mr John Fisher - East Leake

As you know, we have not been the quickest at deciding to go ahead with both renewable energy projects, and in fact we lost out on the Boiler Scrappage Scheme by not going ahead quickly enough. The news this morning that the FIT Scheme time scales have been chopped by the government, reminds me that I hope we have made it this time. I got a letter yesterday from the EON FIT team to say that our FIT Application has been passed for processing.

Our Bungalow in East Leake has a SSE facing roof that had sufficient area to take both Solar Thermal and PV panels. Before I contacted PG Plumbing, I spoke to several people and organisations for advice on the best way forward with renewable energy, and at the time the FIT program had not been launched. Our first advice was to replace our boiler with a modern condensing type model. This is where we contacted PG Plumbing and started to learn about "Heat Stores" as an alternative to Hot Water Cylinders, and Solar Thermal Panels and Heat Pipes on our roof.

There is not a lot of information clearly available on these new concepts and systems, and in the end, after much internet searching, I decided that the best method was to trust in PG Plumbing, the engineer who designed the system, and go with it.

John Fisher

As the conversion of Hot water cylinder to Heat store involved a large amount of re-plumbing I decided to work on this project in stages.

  • Stage one, replace the old inefficient boiler with a new Viessmann boiler, fit a new Heat Store in a Cupboard adjacent to our Bathroom, and connect in Solar Thermal panels to feed the Heat Store.
  • Stage two, the space vacated by the old Hot Water Cylinder in the corner of the Bath Room would be an ideal location for a shower cubicle, and so I promised my wife a complete new bathroom, before we progressed to stage three.
  • Stage three, installation of PV panels on the remaining roof space to benefit from the FIT scheme.
  • (Stage four, in the future, possibly add into the heat store further renewable energy from Ground or Air Sourced Heat Pumps).

We have now completed our first year of Solar Thermal energy, with a sinusoidal seasonal variation in generation, peaking at 13kWh/day in July, and trough at 2kWh/day in January.

The PV panels were switched on in Sept 2011, and to date they have generated more energy than we have used.

Because the Heat tubes that form the panel have mirrored reflective surfaces, the panels start generating heat almost as soon as the sun rises, and the panel mounted on the north facing roof starts adding heat in the summer months during the afternoon and evening.

Our Electricity usage has not altered much for years. Our Children left home almost 10 years ago, and with Gas central heating, our usage is mainly cooking, lighting, and supplying appliances. The seasonal swing is very small, varying from 7 to 14kWh/day averaging about 10kWh/day. The PV panels were switched on in Sept 2011, and to date they have generated more energy than we have used. The average is 12kWh/day, fluctuating between 4 and 15kWh/day. Because the PV panels are fixed to the pitch and direction of my roof, and don't have the reflective features of the Solar Thermal panels, they respond slowly to the sun rising, having peak output when the sun is at it's highest at midday. However, even in cloudy conditions, there is a respectable amount of energy being generated.

Thanks again for our Renewable Energy Installations.