Renewables

The sourcing of energy from renewable sources is here to stay whatever question marks hang over the future of the system of cash support. The dangers of climate change are too important to ignore. But in a period of uncertainty it is more important than ever to invest in the most efficient form of renewable technology. We aim to provide information to allow you to make the best choices.

Smart grid offers cost savings to Coleraine householders

Residents of a public sector housing est...

Published on 24/02/2020
read more

Energy issues facing us in 2020

A new decade doesn’t necessarily usher i...

Published on 21/01/2020
read more

Help shape new NI energy strategy urge Stormont officials

The process of replacing Northern Irelan...

Published on 17/12/2019
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New source of renewable fuel

A researcher at Queen’s University has d...

Published on 27/11/2019
read more

Rise in sales of electric and hybrid cars

We’ve been in the slow lane as far as th...

Last updated on 14/11/2019
read more

Bright future forecast for offshore wind farms

Rosy pictures are often painted for the ...

Last updated on 07/11/2019
read more

Is this a solution to intermittency of renewables

A reliable electricity system based almo...

Last updated on 07/11/2019
read more

Cheapest way to heat your home

What is the cheapest way to heat your ho...

Last updated on 07/11/2019
read more

Searching for the cheapest electricity supply

Looking for the cheapest electricity sup...

Last updated on 07/11/2019
read more

Need for more transparency on costs

Should we be concerned about the price i...

Last updated on 07/11/2019
read more

How green is my supplier

Click Energy emerges as the greenest dom...

Last updated on 07/11/2019
read more

Power Shock

The cost of electricity is rising again....

Published on 14/08/2019
read more

Price jolt

Hopes of a cut in electricity prices thi...

Published on 10/07/2019
read more

The incredible shrinking domestic energy usage

This article could be subtitled; why you...

Published on 03/07/2019
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Marketing lesson for energy suppliers

The quarterly reports on gas and electri...

Published on 05/06/2017
read more

Faster drying with plain sawn wood

A fortnight ago I asked if we have been ...

Published on 18/04/2017
read more

Solar shines brightly

Until relatively recently talk of large ...

Published on 14/04/2017
read more

Is NIE likely to appeal its price control?

Will NIE Networks reject the price contr...

Published on 27/03/2017
read more

Mild winter helps to lower wholesale energy prices

Wholesale energy prices here fell by nea...

Published on 26/03/2017
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An energy firm to watch

The company which spotted that the whole...

Published on 15/01/2017
read more

World breakthrough for Ireland's grid operators

It’s one thing for wind farms to be able...

Published on 11/01/2017
read more

Regulator plays down role of exports in power price surge

 The Energy Regulator has rejected a cla...

Published on 02/11/2016
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Need to redo numbers for N/S Interconnector

There’s one clear message coming through...

Published on 30/10/2016
read more

Confused and contradictory energy policy

On those days when the sun is shining bu...

Published on 19/10/2016
read more

Smart thinking about power

Now that Stormont has put smart metering...

Published on 12/10/2016
read more

Phew! what a scorcher

For those who believe that climate chang...

Published on 14/08/2016
read more

NIE's electric bill

NIE has announced it wants to invest aro...

Published on 07/08/2016
read more

Plan to abolish price control for small business electricity market

The Energy Regulator is proposing to rem...

Published on 05/06/2016
read more

Want some electricity? The bill is on me.

Not just free electricity. It’s even bet...

Published on 22/05/2016
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Energy market generating new stories

Perhaps it was the sunny weather but wha...

Published on 15/05/2016
read more

Renewables expansion fails to stop greenhouse gas growth in Ireland

Despite an expanding renewables energy s...

Last updated on 11/05/2016
read more

Energy installer creates over 30 jobs

Heating and renewable energy installer, ...

Last updated on 11/05/2016
read more

Wholesale gas prices to fall even further says Vayu

Wholesale gas prices have fallen by 40 p...

Last updated on 11/05/2016
read more

Power to the people

High demand for low cost electricity has...

Last updated on 11/05/2016
read more

Green energy accolade for Housing Executive manager

Longstanding Housing Executive manager N...

Last updated on 11/05/2016
read more

Record renewable power production

Last year just over 25% of electricity c...

Last updated on 11/05/2016
read more

Funding for Fair Head?

Fair Head Tidal say their planned 100 MW...

Last updated on 11/05/2016
read more

Fears over the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme

 

How long can the Renewable Heat In...

Last updated on 11/05/2016
read more

Lower prices for gas and electricity

The cost of gas and electricity is set t...

Last updated on 11/05/2016
read more

Fuel of the future

What is Europe's most significant renewa...

Last updated on 11/05/2016
read more

Turbines, toasters and televisions

The newly approved Cam Burn wind farm ne...

Last updated on 11/05/2016
read more

Pulling the plug on renewables

When I first started to compose my thoug...

Last updated on 11/05/2016
read more

Lawyer proposes all island renewable energy policy

A leading energy lawyer here has called ...

Last updated on 11/05/2016
read more

Wholesale cost of energy drops to new low

The firmus Energy Index touched a new lo...

Last updated on 11/05/2016
read more

£8 million a year to keep NIRO going?

The Department of Energy and Climate Cha...

Last updated on 11/05/2016
read more

Wholesale energy prices near six year low

Continuing weakness last month in the gl...

Last updated on 11/05/2016
read more

New energy suppliers to break the mould?

Three new energy suppliers are set to ma...

Last updated on 11/05/2016
read more

Air power for east Antrim

It sounds like science fiction but appea...

Last updated on 11/05/2016
read more

Fifth of power needs from renewables

New figures issued by the Department for...

Last updated on 11/05/2016
read more

New wind farm plans under increasing threat

The future of subsidies for new wind far...

Last updated on 11/05/2016
read more

Solar Farm Unveiled

Bombardier has just unveiled Ireland’s l...

Last updated on 11/05/2016
read more

Job Fears

Up to four

thousand jobs could be lost ...

Last updated on 11/05/2016
read more

Curb on Green Power

A new discussion paper issued by DETI re...

Last updated on 11/05/2016
read more

Industry Minister softens blow for PV industry

The

renewables industry breathed a sigh...

Last updated on 11/05/2016
read more

Offshore wind farm plan abandoned

In a surprise move the company aiming to...

Last updated on 11/05/2016
read more
Lo 06 Home heat
Solar 1 Solar Kiln Blog Updates ⇒

News

Smart grid offers cost savings to Coleraine householders

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Residents of a public sector housing estate in Coleraine are to be offered the chance to get access to free, green electricity for about a year and a half after their area was chosen to be part of Northern Ireland’s first smart grid.  Around a hundred homes in the as yet unnamed estate will be eq...
more

Energy issues facing us in 2020

Image thumb electric car reduced
A new decade doesn’t necessarily usher in a new era but as far as energy is concerned 2020 is set to be the start of a revolution in how we heat our homes, travel to work and transport our goods. Driving the change is a UK Government commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050, an objective we will nece...
more

Help shape new NI energy strategy urge Stormont officials

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The process of replacing Northern Ireland’s out of date energy strategy has taken another step forward.An appeal to energy professionals, academics and consumer representatives for ideas to help inform and shape a new energy framework has been launched by the Department for the Economy. After a revi...
more

New source of renewable fuel

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A researcher at Queen’s University has developed a process to transform barley waste from breweries into a range of products including renewable fuel, charcoal for barbecues and water filters.Dr Ahmed Osman from the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering says the technique is low cost and invo...
more

Rise in sales of electric and hybrid cars

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We’ve been in the slow lane as far as the take up of electric and hybrid cars is concerned but are now beginning to pick up speed. The latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) released to enirgy.info show that combined sales of battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybr...
more

Bright future forecast for offshore wind farms

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Rosy pictures are often painted for the future of renewables but what makes this latest one stand out is the astonishing contribution it predicts the offshore wind industry is poised to make.The International Energy Agency says by only using sites close to shore, wind turbines, which currently suppl...
more

Is this a solution to intermittency of renewables

A reliable electricity system based almost wholly on renewables is not just a lot of hot air, it’s a lot of cold air. UK based Highview Power’s solution to the intermittency of green sources of power is cryogenic technology relying on chilled air.  Using off peak energy, air is turned into liquid ...
more

Cheapest way to heat your home

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What is the cheapest way to heat your home? I’ve been comparing four fuels which over the years have been commonly used for central heating. The current league leader by a small margin is coal in the form of anthracite grains or beans which can been loaded into a gravity fed boiler. This fuel is not...
more

Searching for the cheapest electricity supply

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Looking for the cheapest electricity supply should be simple. You check what each company is charging keypad and credit customers for a unit of electricity and, depending on what service you want, you make your choice accordingly. But the selection of the best value deals has become more complicated...
more

Need for more transparency on costs

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Should we be concerned about the price increases in the domestic electricity market which have just taken place? Most were quite modest varying from around six to eight per cent. In cash terms from £32 to £44 a year. That’s less than a pound a week, a figure which many households could easily accomm...
more

How green is my supplier

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Click Energy emerges as the greenest domestic supplier in Northern Ireland. Each megawatt hour of power it supplies has 115 kg of carbon content. Second is SSE Airtricity with a carbon content of 295kg Suppliers have been able to offer less environmentally damaging power because of changes in the so...
more

Power Shock

The cost of electricity is rising again. Power NI has just announced a six per cent increase in its tariff. The hike, when it comes into effect at the beginning of October, will add around £35 a year to the average customer's bill.It follows two previous increases by Power NI: a fourteen per cent pr...
more

Price jolt

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Hopes of a cut in electricity prices this autumn are crumbling away. In fact it’s distinctly possible that when the current review of costs is complete, the regulated tariff which is offered by Power NI may go up instead of down. This is surprising to say the least given the fall in gas costs which ...
more

The incredible shrinking domestic energy usage

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This article could be subtitled; why your energy bills have been falling even when there was no movement in the cost of gas and electricity. Ten years ago, according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) , the average home here, not on Economy 7, was using 4000 units ...
more

Marketing lesson for energy suppliers

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The quarterly reports on gas and electricity customer numbers from the Utility Regulator are normally low on surprises. This supplier has attracted a few more consumers. That one has lost some. It’s not quite a snores fest but hardly riveting reading.However the most recent edition contained a bit o...
more

Faster drying with plain sawn wood

Image thumb plain and quarter sawn
A fortnight ago I asked if we have been chopping up logs the wrong way if we accept that the right method would leave the wood in a state where it will dry more efficiently. The most common technique, which I have used myself, is the the quarter sawn method which as the name suggests means splitt...
more

Solar shines brightly

Image thumb solarpanels
Until relatively recently talk of large scale renewable generation in Northern Ireland meant wind farms. Turbines not only dominated the landscape, they made up the vast bulk of green power capacity. Wind still predominates but solar power is beginning to assert itself. In recent weeks we have se...
more

Is NIE likely to appeal its price control?

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Will NIE Networks reject the price control announced by the Energy Regulator just before the weekend and appeal the matter to the Competition and Markets Authority? The Regulator cut the amount of Capex and Opex that the company, a subsidiary of ESB, had wanted to spend over the RP6 period which ...
more

Mild winter helps to lower wholesale energy prices

Image thumb gas rings
Wholesale energy prices here fell by nearly 18% in February as increased imports into the UK of LNG combined with mild weather continued to push prices downwards. However, the Vayu Energy Report shows that despite this substantial drop wholesale prices are still well up on a year ago.  Vayu Senio...
more

An energy firm to watch

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The company which spotted that the wholesale cost of power went negative one morning last month is probably the most interesting Irish energy firm you’ve never heard of. Electroroute reported that for three half hour periods on December 9, suppliers were being paid to take electricity off the grid. ...
more

World breakthrough for Ireland's grid operators

Image thumb robin mccormick
It’s one thing for wind farms to be able to generate large amounts of  electricity but it’s another being able to manage those volumes of intermittent energy on the network.That is the huge challenge the two grid operators on the island, including SONI here in Belfast, have been working on. Already ...
more

Regulator plays down role of exports in power price surge

Image thumb kilroot control room
 The Energy Regulator has rejected a claim that exports of electricity to Great Britain have been a major cause in driving up the wholesale cost of power here.In a note to enirgy.info detailing the background to the recent rise in prices, the Regulator says sales to GB have had only a marginal impac...
more

Need to redo numbers for N/S Interconnector

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There’s one clear message coming through about the North South Interconnector. If the power link isn’t built, the lights may very well go out. Both the Energy Regulator and the company which operates the electricity system have issued statements to that effect. Anyone who reads or listens to the new...
more

Confused and contradictory energy policy

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On those days when the sun is shining but the wind isn’t blowing, our wind turbines sit idle.At ten thirty this morning wind farms were meeting just two per cent of our electricity demand. Filling the gap have been generators burning gas but also coal. Kilroot Power Station which uses coal has been ...
more

Smart thinking about power

Image thumb gdms
Now that Stormont has put smart metering on the long finger, is there another way for consumers to catch up with the rest of the UK, help manage demand for electricity more efficiently and most importantly get rewarded for their co-operation?The solution may well lie in a system being developed by a...
more

Phew! what a scorcher

For those who believe that climate change is now under control, there was a timely warning last week from Copernicus, the EU’s earth monitoring service.Copernicus revealed that July was the hottest month the world has seen since records began in the nineteenth century. Jean-Noel Thépaut, Head of the...
more

NIE's electric bill

NIE has announced it wants to invest around half a billion pounds in its network. The proposed expenditure, if approved by the Energy Regulator, would take place from 2017 onwards. Over half the money is earmarked for a renewal of assets. NIE makes the case for an upgrade by reference to equipment w...
more

Plan to abolish price control for small business electricity market

The Energy Regulator is proposing to remove the price control which covers the supply of electricity to small businesses. Currently Power NI’s tariff for companies using up to 50 MWh a year has to be approved by the Regulator. The supplier has argued that switching is now frequent enough in this sec...
more

Want some electricity? The bill is on me.

Image thumb crookedstone road solar farm  belfast international airport  1
Not just free electricity. It’s even better than that. Across the water on Sunday May 8, according to energy data company @enappsys, generators paid more than £30 a MWh to be relieved of unwanted power. It’s not the first time this has happened and the phenomenon is set to become more common.These e...
more

Energy market generating new stories

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Perhaps it was the sunny weather but whatever the reason, there was quite a lot of energy news this week. And most of it was positive.Topping the list was the revelation that the same brothers who have created a biomass power plant at Lisahally in Derry are planning a much bigger generating station ...
more

Renewables expansion fails to stop greenhouse gas growth in Ireland

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Despite an expanding renewables energy sector, total energy related emissions of carbon dioxide in the Irish Republic rose last year by almost four per cent compared with the previous year. In the UK emissions fell by just under three per cent. There is no separate figure for Northern Ireland. Acros...
more

Energy installer creates over 30 jobs

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Heating and renewable energy installer, CTS Projects, has announced the creation of 32 new jobs in the last 18 months, almost doubling employee numbers to a total of 70. The company, which is headquartered in Warrenpoint, has generated the employment as a result of winning £14m in new contracts with...
more

Wholesale gas prices to fall even further says Vayu

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Wholesale gas prices have fallen by 40 per cent over the course of the last twelve months according to the latest Wholesale Energy Market Report published by Vayu Energy. The company which recently announced an expansion into Northern Ireland put the collapse in prices down to abundant supplies and ...
more

Power to the people

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High demand for low cost electricity has prompted an energy co-operative to launch another round of its programme to install solar panels free of charge for charities and community organisations.Almost 40 bodies have already expressed an interest in the solar energy project that should see their ele...
more

Green energy accolade for Housing Executive manager

Image thumb noel rice with maria o loan  tughans
Longstanding Housing Executive manager Noel Rice has picked up the top prize at the Annual Action Renewables Association Awards 2016. He beat off tough competition to win the Outstanding Award for Work in the Renewable Energy Sector.Here's the assessment of Noel's role presented to guests at the Act...
more

Record renewable power production

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Last year just over 25% of electricity consumption in Northern Ireland was generated from renewable sources based. That’s an increase of 6.4% on the previous12 months and is the highest rolling 12 month proportion on record. The vast bulk of green electricity produced in 2015 - just over 90% - was g...
more

Funding for Fair Head?

Fair Head Tidal say their planned 100 MW turbine installation off the North Antrim coast will produce enough power to satisfy the demands of 70,000 homes.What this implies is that the turbines will have about a 25% efficiency which is comparable to the output of wind turbines. Except of course the b...
more

Fears over the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme

  How long can the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) programme continue to enjoy the level of support it has been receiving from Government? There is a worry that subsidy rates could be cut back. Some fear it could be even be closed to new entrants.   Currently the scheme provides money for...
more

Lower prices for gas and electricity

The cost of gas and electricity is set to fall as regulated suppliers review their costs.Power NI started to examine its tariff before Christmas. It's understood that the company which has over half a million domestic customers will announce its new prices in February. They will come into effect at ...
more

Fuel of the future

What is Europe's most significant renewable energy source? You might think wind given the number of turbines being erected from here right across the Continent. Or maybe you’d hazard a guess that the fall in the price of solar panels has pushed that form of renewable power to the top of the league t...
more

Turbines, toasters and televisions

The newly approved Cam Burn wind farm near Aghadowey will produce enough electricity to light up and power all the devices in 7,900 homes. That’s the claim by developer TCI Renewables. How do they work that out?They start off with the installed capacity of the wind farm. That’s 13.8 megawatts. In th...
more

Pulling the plug on renewables

When I first started to compose my thoughts for this article on renewable energy, there was still a hope that the Department of Energy and Climate Change in London would cut us some slack on support for new onshore wind farms. It wasn’t a big ask. Letting the Renewables Obligation (RO) scheme run on...
more

Lawyer proposes all island renewable energy policy

A leading energy lawyer here has called for an island regime to support renewable energy. Richard Murphy of Pinsent Masons made the recommendation at the Northern Ireland Energy Forum held in Belfast on Sept 10. He said mirroring legislation from England & Wales had led to a scenario where the l...
more

Wholesale cost of energy drops to new low

The firmus Energy Index touched a new low in July as world markets continue to be swamped by a surplus of oil. The Index, which tracks wholesale fuel prices in Northern Ireland, dropped to 74. That’s the lowest figure recorded since the benchmark was launched over five years ago. Brent crude ended J...
more

£8 million a year to keep NIRO going?

The Department of Energy and Climate Change is planning to close one year early the Renewable Obligations (RO) support scheme for onshore wind turbines. DETI has said it will keep the scheme open here until 2017 but hasn’t revealed the bill that we will incur if we have to meet the cost from our own...
more

Wholesale energy prices near six year low

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Continuing weakness last month in the global oil market has moved the firmus Energy Index close to a six year low. The widely regarded measure of Northern Ireland wholesale fuel costs fell by four per cent to stand at 84 in June. Oil prices had been recovering recently amid good news about the US ec...
more

New energy suppliers to break the mould?

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Three new energy suppliers are set to make their presence felt over the next few months.Belfast based Open Electric has already declared its hand. It is building its appeal partly on a willingness to share its profits with consumersManaging Director Marc Norris said: “ We want our customers to share...
more

Air power for east Antrim

Image thumb diagram
It sounds like science fiction but appears to be technologically feasible. A local renewable energy company wants to store compressed air deep underground – releasing it when needed to power electricity generators. Gaelectric, a major developer of wind farms, is planning the £300m developm...
more

Fifth of power needs from renewables

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New figures issued by the Department for Enterprise show how the output of green electricity is still growing.For the 12 month period from April 2014 to March 2015, 19.9% of total electricity consumption in Northern Ireland was generated from renewable sources located in Northern Ireland. This re...
more

New wind farm plans under increasing threat

The future of subsidies for new wind farm developments is looking increasingly shaky in light of comments from the new Conservative Government and its Energy Secretary, Amber Rudd. The Conservatives said in their election manifesto that they would end any new public subsidies for onshore wind far...
more

Solar Farm Unveiled

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Bombardier has just unveiled Ireland’s largest rooftop solar installation at its Belfast wing manufacturing and assembly facility on Queen’s Island. It comprises 14,000 PV panels which will generate 3000 MWh a year – equivalent to the electricity needs of 1000 homesThe arrangement of panels was desi...
more

Job Fears

Up to four thousand jobs could be lost in the small-scale renewable energy sector if Northern Ireland fails to find a replacement for Renewable Obligation Certificates or ROCs, which won’t be available to sustain new installations after March 2017.Michael Doran, the Director of Action Renewable...
more

Curb on Green Power

A new discussion paper issued by DETI reveals the profound impact that reform of the electricity market across the UK will have on the renewable energy industry in Northern Ireland. Don’t be misled by its bland title: CFD Implementation in NI–Strategic issues. This document contains lots that should...
more

Industry Minister softens blow for PV industry

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The renewables industry breathed a sigh of relief when the Industry Minister announced the new rates of subsidy for small scale solar PV – that’s installations up to 50 kW. Originally it was proposed to cut the rate of support from 4 ROCs to 1.6 ROCs for new installations from April this ye...
more

Offshore wind farm plan abandoned

In a surprise move the company aiming to build Northern Ireland’s first major offshore wind farm has cancelled its plans saying it cannot meet a key Government deadline First Flight Wind, a consortium involving B9 Energy and giant Danish company Dong Energy, had hoped to locate turbines, capable ...
more

Key Information

Compare NI Electricity Prices

Our calculator will assist you search for the tariff that suits your needs. Just answer the questions to find out how suppliers are ranked on cost. Then check what bonuses and penalties may apply. But before switching, you should read our terms and conditions.

Renewables

Electric cars, solar panels, ground source heat pumps and wood burning stoves. The ways to cut your contribution to global warming are many and growing. What should you do and how much will it cost you? Click here for advice, tips and debate.

Central Heating Fuel Prices

Switching from one form of central heating to another is a challenging decision. Should you stay or should you go. It’s worthwhile checking how different fuels compare in price though past results are no guarantee of future performance.



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