Hand-fill convenience at a very handy price!

Being able to combine convenience with environmental responsibility and independence from fossil fuels sounds like the ideal for many homeowners. To be able to do that in an affordable way, just puts the icing on the cake! sf4219 OE Boiler Offer Consumer Leaflet Autumn 2015-1

Fortunately that’s precisely what is now available thanks to the ÖkoFEN hand-fill wood pellet boiler.Hand-fill convenience at a very handy price!

Being able to combine convenience with environmental responsibility and independence from fossil fuels sounds like the ideal for many homeowners. To be able to do that in an affordable way, just puts the icing on the cake!

Fortunately that’s precisely what is now available thanks to the ÖkoFEN hand-fill wood pellet boiler.

This beautifully engineered product represented something of a revolution in wood-pellet heating when Organic Energy first introduced it to the UK market in 2013. It combines the efficiency of an ÖkoFEN boiler with a compact and convenient form, meaning more homes can take advantage of the future of heat generation.

The hand-fill boiler has been popular from the start and appeals to a wide customer base thanks to its space-saving design and low entry cost. Now we’re adding to that appeal with a very special offer; until the end of November you can get your hands on an ÖkoFEN hand-fill boiler from £2,500 less than the listed retail price, only through Organic Energy. That’s a wood-pellet boiler for just £4,999 (before VAT at five per cent for domestic installations).

The product is MCS accredited, which means for eligible installations it could also attract cash back via the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive scheme.

The hand-fill boiler works, as the name suggests, without the need for an attached pellet store, yet it’s efficiency means it’s clean and simple to maintain and refill. Even better, it can still be installed ready to be converted to an automated solution with a bulk pellet store if that’s the way you wanted to go at a later date!

Remember, this is an offer we can only maintain until the end of November 2015, so please do drop us a line or pick up the phone soon if you would like to find out more.

Climate changing the headlines…

Let’s be honest – the issue of climate change very rarely tops the news agenda. But recent days have seen somewhat of a turnaround in the mainstream press, both in the UK and overseas.

warning Climate change CO2 emissions sign illustration

Climate change issues are being raised

Perhaps it’s because Barack Obama has become the first US president to visit the Arctic – and promised to save remote communities from the ravages of climate change.

Or maybe it’s down to Oscar-winning British actress Emma Thompson reading a self-penned Ode to Climate Change live on television in the centre of London.

Of course, it could be a report from the Institute for Policy Studies which points to a distinctly economic cause: greed. According to the report, dramatically rising CEO pay at major fossil fuel companies in the United States is also contributing to climate change, because it gives these leaders huge monetary incentives to increase their fossil fuel reserves at any cost.

Whatever the reason – we’re glad to see the issue being raised. All too often, climate change is seen as a soft issue compared to the state of the economy, the war on crime and even the marital disputes of whatever celebrity is flavour of the month.

Climate change will affect us all, our children and our grandchildren, and if we don’t look at the problem now and work to find solutions now, it will be too late.

Too late for the town of Kotzebue, where Mr Obama visited, a community of 3,000 people which is battling coastal erosion caused by melting ice and rising sea levels.

Too late for what will be a mass extinction of some of the world’s most threatened species as their habitat is forever changed by the warming of the Earth.

And too late for the Arctic sea ice, which is disappearing. That summer ice is vitally important to a whole range of animals from tiny shrimp to vast bowhead whales, and to local people.

Scary, isn’t it? Sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor thinks so too. His four horsemen of the apocalypse, close to Houses of Parliament, are a political comment on the impact of climate change.

When the water level is high, you can see almost nothing. But as the tide turns, and the water level of the Thames rises and drops twice a day, the four horses and riders emerge.

The sculpture, entitled The Rising Tide, has been installed near the bankside of Vauxhall bridge. For the past decade, Taylor’s work has been motivated by conservation and redressing climate change. For him, it’s about using art to tackle the issue, for Emma Thompson it’s using her talent as an outstanding actress (and budding poet!), and for Obama, the power of his office.

But there are things that we all can do to help.

For more information on climate change, and what action is being taken, visit www.climateactionprogramme.org

Giving power back to communities through the arts

We love this quote from our friends at Arts Alive:

“Organic Energy provides sustainable energy technologies and Arts Alive helps to keep rural communities sustainable by offering access to quality, local community events.”

artsThis connection between our organisations is reflected in a number of
ways, whether that’s using low carbon fuel to heat your home or saving
the emissions by walking to the village hall to see a film instead of
driving to the multi-screen!

We’re delighted to be supporting enthusiastic people who are working to
reclaim some of the best features of community life – it’s why Organic
Energy has partnered with Arts Alive, an organisation that works to
bring more than 1,000 events a year to rural communities.

As well as the hugely popular Flicks in the Sticks touring cinema, this
south Shropshire-based group puts dance, drama, music, puppetry and
storytelling back into the heart of communities – without people having
to head off on lengthy journeys to theatres in the bigger towns and

And we’re pretty sure they prefer our short video (include link)
screened before each film, to the half-hour of adverts which tend to be
shown before the main feature begins there too!

Environmental issues front and centre today

Today is World Environment Day, as designated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

UNEP - World Environment Day 2015It’s a chance for people all over the world to jointly take stock of what we’re doing to the planet that sustains us.

At Organic Energy, we’re at the heart of the movement to change the demand for those core human needs of heat and power over to sustainable sources, like wood pellet fuel from sustainable forests. But not everyone has the time or inclination in their busy lives to dwell for long on the big issues.

Today there will be widespread coverage of the environment, supported by events and the release of information that has been timed to give the day its maximum possible impact – helping the topic to take its place in the global news output.

In a way it’s a shame that such effort has to go into turning people’s heads on one day of the year instead of it being at the top of everyone’s agenda all the time. What we can say is that anyone who has invested in renewable heating is already playing their part and we salute every one of them.

So whether you’re someone who’s pondering turning to renewable energy sources for your home or business, someone who has already done so or someone who’s just, for now, examining the options, what better time than World Environment Day for us to invite you to share your favourite views of the world around us?

We’d love to see the images of our natural world that you’ve captured on camera and we’ll reward our favourite contribution with a £100 voucher to spend at specialist photography retailer, Jessops.

Just send us your favourite green scene – something that captures our natural world in all its glory, it’s magnificent detail or at its most furious and powerful. We can’t wait to see and share them!

This year’s theme for World Environment Day is “Seven Billion Dreams”. You can see what dreams people are sharing here – and maybe even add your own on social media with the hashtag #7BillionDreams.

What did Her Majesty do for renewables this week?

The development of renewable energy takes place in what seems like an ever-changing landscape. Perhaps that shouldn’t be a surprise for a still burgeoning sector that has huge growth potential, but what difference does it make to now have a majority government?

This week we had the Queen’s Speech, in which the new Conservative Government laid out its plans and, truth be told, there wasn’t an awful lot about the renewables sector. That’s probably to be welcomed, because the last thing we need is more wholesale change.

The best thing that can happen is for everyone, from manufacturers and suppliers to installers and their customers, to be confident that the sector is supported by our political leaders and that any incentives will remain in place in the time frames which have been promised.

The kind of issues that were addressed by the Queen’s Speech were big infrastructure matters; an end to subsidy for new onshore wind farms and plans to remove the need for the Energy Secretary to approve large wind farm projects (those which run to more than 50MW).

Those are both quite controversial matters which can be debated ad infinitum! There are calculations that the subsidies for such major onshore wind projects added £10 to the average consumer bill last year. There are many consumers who would be quite happy about this because it is all movement toward greater renewable use, of which many of us approve. But in financially straightened times, there are many people who can do without the extra cost burden.

What we do know is that it is onwards and upwards for micro-generation of the kind that interests us! The most direct way to benefit from renewable energy is to take control of the matter for yourself, using a wood pellet boiler and/or solar generation through solar thermal installations.

The domestic and non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive goes on and the cost versus return on renewable energy technologies continues to improve. More and more people are taking their power generation into their own hands and there was nothing in the Queen’s Speech that should give us concern on that front. Thank you, Your Majesty.

Going green over French heads

Our friends immediately across the channel are doing a fine job at the moment of demonstrating their environmentally-friendly credentials to the world.

Vancouver Convention Center's environmentally friendly, 6 acre green roof

Vancouver Convention Center’s environmentally friendly, 6 acre green roof shows how it can be done

Previously we highlighted the addition of a wind turbine (and other renewable energy measures) that have been deployed at the Eiffel Tower. Of course, that’s more symbolic than world changing, but it does set out French society’s stall with regard to renewables.

Now a much more significant step has been revealed by the French government; planning laws which make it obligatory to put either plants or solar panels on the roofs of new commercial buildings.

That’s quite a statement of intent. It’s not all of the roof that must be covered and it’s only new commercial buildings that it will apply to, but it’s an important step towards making such behaviour normal, in both commercial and domestic settings.

We’re all going to have to think more about what we are going to do to play our part in the change to renewable energy and heat sources as the opportunities arise. France is being really quite pro-active here and it sets the groundwork for such requirements to be spread into other areas of building or renovation.

It’s a fairly radical step without being hugely onerous on anyone. But as well as demonstrating to everyone that this is the direction of travel for construction in the years to come, it has immediate practical benefits. Green roofs absorb rainfall, cutting down on run-off that can lead to flooding (especially as the world gets warmer and wetter) as well as providing insulation by trapping heat that might otherwise be lost from the building or forced to remain inside by less environmentally friendly technologies, such as manufactured lagging.

If developers or building owners don’t want to look up at a lush rooftop, they can opt for solar panels in that space, with all the attendant benefits.

Undoubtedly there will be learning to be done, because a proliferation of green rooftops will result in a variety of outcomes! The expertise to install and maintain them will need to spread, but it has already been demonstrated how it can be done and even how the space might be used for producing food or other useful crops

This is pretty forward-thinking stuff. It does make you wonder though how ready we are to take such a step in the UK? When the majority of new homes are still built brick by brick by traditional methods instead of churned out of a factory using timber and high efficiency panels, what hope is there that we’ll be making green rooftops compulsory any time soon?

Is there nowhere that renewable power can’t make an impact for the good?

You can imagine that when some brave soul first made the suggestion that they could put wind turbines on the Eiffel Tower it would have been greeted with either stony silence or total uproar. It’s impossible to think the response would have been ambivalent!

The Eiffel Tower dominates the Paris skyline - and now comes with renewable energyIt would have conjured instant images of the iconic structure with propellor-like blades spinning off the sides like some crazed aircraft concept from the days of the Wright brothers.

But what is so beautiful about the fact that they have indeed now fitted the more than 1000ft high tower with turbines is that it demonstrates to the world how renewable energy projects can be incorporated in the most imaginative of places without detracting from them.

Far from the great twirling blades of the kind we’re used to on the traditional wind turbine, these are a vertical axis model installed by New York company, Urban Green Energy. They are apparently virtually silent and have even been painted to match the steelwork of the tower, which they are tucked neatly inside.

They are not powering the whole structure, rather producing enough energy for the first floor commercial areas, but they are forming part of a mix of renewables used at the Eiffel Tower which are demonstrating a proof of concept to the world. The monument is playing its part in meeting France’s renewable energy targets and that’s a powerful signal to send to anyone who doubts that old and new can sit comfortably together for these purposes.

What it says is that nothing should be ruled out anymore when it comes to renewing or installing a heat source. There’s no need to stick to the status quo. Why replace an oil boiler with the same when a sustainable wood pellet solution would be more efficient, more cost effective and more responsible?