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Here you will find a mixture of interesting facts, industry information, legislation changes as and when they occur!

By Rick Robinson at JLeaf, Aug 28 2015 06:16AM

It's probably the best time to install solar panels on your property


In a shock announcement on 27th August 2015, The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is proposing huge FIT cuts for solar PV installations. Following their scheduled tariff review, the government is proposing these cuts to be applicable from January 2016.



Matt McGrath, Environment correspondent for BBC News writes:


"Deployment of rooftop solar installations in the UK has increased significantly in recent years

The UK government says it plans to significantly reduce subsidies paid to small-scale green power installations.

Under the proposals, the amount of money paid to home owners and businesses producing electricity from roof-top solar and small wind turbines will be limited from January 2016.

Subsidy schemes could be closed to new entrants from the start of next year.

Ministers want to ensure that consumers who pay for the schemes through their bills get the best deal possible.

They admitted in July that spending on renewable energy schemes was set to be higher than expected.

Having already announced plans to limit cash paid to on-shore wind generation and large-scale solar farms, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is now proposing significant cutbacks for small-sized green energy producers.

Solar and wind energy installations of less than 5MW are supported by feed-in tariffs - schemes that pay producers a subsidy for the electricity they generate, plus a bonus for any electricity exported back to the national grid.

Under the new proposals, the amount to be paid from next year will fall to 1.63p per kilowatt hour from a current level of 12.92p for a new residential solar system.

The consultation says that government spending on feed-in tariffs should be limited to between £75m and £100m from 2016 to 2018/19.

But DECC warns that if that limit is breached then "the only alternative would be to end generation tariffs for new applicants as soon as legislatively possible," which is expected to be January next year.

solar installation


According to the Solar Trade Association, over 34,000 are employed in the industry

The Solar Trade Association (STA) says the proposals are not good news and the idea that the scheme might end for new entrants could become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

"We regret that proposals to suddenly cut tariffs combined with the threat of closure of the scheme next January will spark a massive market rush," said Mike Landy from the STA.

"This is the antithesis of a sensible policy for achieving better public value for money while safeguarding the British solar industry."

In their risk assessment published with the proposals, the government acknowledges that there is a chance that the changes may result in "significantly reduced rates of deployment" but they expect the industry to prove resilient, and point to the fact that the UK has already exceeded installation levels for small-scale solar and wind that were expected by 2020.

This rapid uptake of the technologies over the past few years means there has been considerable overspend on tariffs, according to the government, and that has to be curtailed.

"Our support has driven down the cost of renewable energy significantly," said a DECC spokesman.

"As costs continue to fall and we move towards sustainable electricity investment, it becomes easier for parts of the renewables industry to survive without subsidies. The consultation launched today is the next part of the action we promised to take to ensure bill payers get the best deal possible".

Environmental groups were not impressed.


Greenpeace pointed out that the government's maximum additional spend on green technologies by 2018 would be approximately half of what it spends subsidising the coal industry.

Other groups called the changes "absurd".


"Of course the feed-in tariff should fall as solar becomes cheaper, but the government clearly plans to remove support entirely," said Alasdair Cameron from Friends of the Earth.

"This is politically motivated, and will take away power from people and hand it back to big energy firms."


The consultation period on the proposed changes will run until 23 October.


If you want to discuss this article or would like a quote for solar panels in the South Manchester and Cheshire area, just call us on 0161 408 2401 or 07887 49 40 43





By Rick Robinson at JLeaf, May 27 2015 01:02PM

"It has been wonderful to see so much interest in our new solar panels on Necker Island. So far the new solar energy system of 1232 photovoltaic solar panels is working well, and we look forward to increasing its effectiveness in the coming months.


The amount of questions, comments and shares about the solar panels highlights an idea that many people have already come round to – the inevitable rise of solar power across the globe.



Demand for residential solar systems is rapidly increasing. It was fascinating to read how mainstream and social the solar movement has become. According to Ad Week, half of all residential solar sales are being driven by word of mouth. That is nearly quadruple the estimated market average for referral sales.


This is due to how passionate and excited people feel about the subject. 2014 was the first year that more capacity was installed by homeowners than by non-residential customers. This growing movement will only grow further in the coming years.




As David Roberts wrote on Vox: “Solar photovoltaic (PV) power is eventually going to dominate global energy. The question is not if, but when. Maybe it will happen radically faster than anyone expects - say, by 2050. Or maybe it won't be until the year 3000, or later. But it'll happen.


“If energy keeps evolving roughly along the paths that are visible now, the unique properties of solar PV will eventually propel it to dominance. We will find that in energy, as in so many other human systems, distributed power works better, to more people's advantage, than the concentrated kind.”



As we continue our journey to turn Necker Island into one of the most renewably-powered islands in the world, I’m thrilled that so many of you are helping to turn your houses into renewably powered homes too."


If you'd like a chat about how solar panels can help you in the Greater Manchester and Chesire areas, call us on 0161 408 2401




By Rick Robinson at JLeaf, Apr 7 2015 07:58PM

New Wave have brought to life a whole new concept in sliding door systems. With ground breaking design and engineering excellence no other sliding door or bifolding door system on the market can match New Wave for it's elegance and ease of use.


* Seamless beautiful lines - no unsightly hardware

* Easy to operate - slide one panel at a time

* Open any part of the door you like. Even operates as a partition

* More living space - inside and out

* ABS 3 Star kitemark accredited lock - available on request

* Excellent thermal and weatherproof performance

* Patented Magnaline™ slide and stack technology



Have a look at the New Wave Video below - if a picture speaks a thousand words, a video nails it!





By Rick Robinson at JLeaf, Apr 7 2015 07:48PM

I have never understood why companies in the replacement window and door industry still treat customers like naive idiots. Sharp sales techniques honed in the 1970's and 1980's have no place in modern selling (and let's be honest, they had no place in the 70's and 80's either!) Many companies still attempt to 'drop close' (reducing the price from a ridulously inflated level so as to incentivise a sale).


I spoke to someone last week who had even experienced the "let me phone my manager for a better sign-on-the-night-price!"

Lordy, do they think we are all so gullible that we'd fall for that? Unfortunately some trusting folks still do and you don't easily get a second chance to remedy a bad decision made under duress.


I was once told by a typical salesman that "It's a numbers game: for every 100 doors you knock on; telephone calls you make; people that you stop in the shopping centre; there is a recognised return on the tactic"." Sure, it may only be a 1% return but 'it's a numbers game', right? The more contacts you have the more business you get....."


Hmmn, I have a better definition of 'a numbers game'. What about the 99% of people that don't fall for it? The 99% of people that find the tactic insulting at best? What about the 99% of people who would rather make an informed decision based on the detail and clarity of information that is presented to them? 99% of people would rather build up a relationship first with a company that they know, like and trust.


After all, it's usually a one-off decision and there's significant cost involved so it's important to get it right.


The 99% are my numbers, the numbers that I'd rather work with, any day of the week: 99% vs 1% - it's a no brainer.


Get to know a company and the people that represent it. Always feel in control and run a mile if you spot any of these tactics:


* Special prices only available on the night (sorry but even the price of crude oil won't affect the price of your windows between now and next week!)


* Insisting upon both partners to be present (so they can force a decision on you)


* Unwilling to give you a comprehensive proposal in writing so you can see exactly what you get for your money


If you have been put off by the thought of any of this, take comfort from the fact that the owner of this company has been an owner and director of a manufacturing company in the industry since 1991. He has built a multi-million pound business by treating people with respect and appreciating that when they follow their instincts, they will make the right decision when the time is right for them, and not a moment sooner.


99%. That's a much more civilised numbers game!


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