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Inside green homes

What’s it really like to get green tech installed in your home – and is it worth the cash?
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
On sunny days Di’s heat pump is powered by her soar panels

This article first appeared in our World Environment Day issue of My Green Pod Magazine, published 05 June 2024. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

Main image: On sunny days Di’s heat pump is powered by her soar panels

As well as supplying homes and businesses with renewable energy sourced from around the UK, Good Energy is helping homeowners take the next step towards a greener home by providing and installing everything from electric vehicle chargers to solar panels and heat pumps.

We spoke to two Good Energy customers about the greener choices they have made for their homes, why they made them, what the installation process was like and – perhaps most importantly – whether they have made a positive impact on their energy bills.

Solar Steve and Gwen

Steve and Gwen were already Good Energy customers when they chose the company to install solar panels and a Tesla Powerwall 2 battery in January.

‘We wanted to get solar panels for three main reasons’, Steve shares. ‘First of all it’s about being more eco friendly; we’ve been with Good Energy on and off for 20 years and we care about the planet. Following the energy crisis we also wanted to get some stability on our energy prices – and a degree of self-sufficiency. Our Tesla Powerwall 2 battery will power our home during a power cut, and a full battery could last us for several days.’

Trust and quality were two key reasons why Steve and Gwen chose Good Energy over other solar installers.

‘Having the backing of Good Energy gave us confidence that we were choosing a quality installer’, Steve explains. ‘I enjoy working with just one company, and I like that they manage our export tariff, too.’

Steve and Gwen have had 5kW of Sunpower solar panels plus a 13.5kWh Tesla Powerwall 2 installed at their home. These are premium products with great warranties, providing peace of mind they’ll work for the long term.

‘The Good Energy Solar installation was very good’, Steve remembers. ‘Health and safety is very important to me and I could see the team working together safely and following the correct guidelines. The finished product not only looks fantastic but also works exactly as designed.’

It’s no secret that the sun doesn’t always shine in the UK, so you’d be forgiven for thinking it isn’t great for solar. Steve soon discovered that isn’t true.

‘I used to think that conditions needed to be optimal for solar panels to work properly in the UK’, he shares. ‘But going through the process I found solar panels would work well on our east-facing roof, and don’t even need direct sunlight to generate energy.’

Steve and Gwen’s installation took place in the winter, and from the very first month their solar panels and battery have provided most of their domestic energy.

They recently bought a plug-in hybrid car which will mainly be charged at home, making Steve and Gwen higher electricity users.

‘Looking at the projected figures from Good Energy Solar, we expect to recoup our upfront costs by about 8-9% every year’, Steve shares, ‘which is better than we can get from putting the money in the bank.’

Heat pump Di

Di, a journalist who lives in Wiltshire with her eldest daughter, chose Good Energy to install her air source heat pump in 2021.

Di is keen to protect the planet and, like many people who care about the climate, wanted to make a greener choice for her energy. 

‘I’m motivated by making ethical and environmentally friendly decisions’, Di tells us. ‘My gas boiler was getting old and I wanted to replace it with a greener option; that is what led me to choose an air source heat pump. It’s sustainable and efficient, and I particularly like that when the sun is shining, it is powered by my solar panels.’

‘It is very easy to feel hopeless in the face of the climate crisis’, Di continues, ‘but the antidote to feeling hopeless is to do something – to be active. Whether that means installing an air source heat pump or even putting out water for the birds on a hot day, just do something and you will feel better for it.’

Di’s experience getting her installation with Good Energy was straightforward, and she found the company ‘great to work with’.

‘From the survey through to design and installation, the team was lovely and always took my wishes into account’, Di says. ‘I prefer my home to be on the cooler side, and I let the team know this when they were designing the heating system. Now I can heat my home exactly how I like it – a constant ambient temperature of around 16 degrees. It’s really easy to manage using an app on my phone and it works brilliantly for my needs.’

Di was initially worried that a heat pump would be noisy – but has discovered it isn’t at all. ‘I don’t think my neighbours even know it is there’, she tells us.

After two incredibly expensive winters, Di’s solar panels and heat pump have kept her bills significantly lower than those of many, which has been a huge relief in a time of so much uncertainty.

‘Not only have I looked after the environment and saved myself money’, Di says; ‘I have future-proofed my home as well.’

READER OFFER

My Green Pod readers can get £400 off a heat pump or solar installation from Good Energy. Use the discount code MYGP2024 when you visit goodenergy.co.uk to get a quote.

Steve with his Tesla Powerwall 2 battery
Steve with his Tesla Powerwall 2 battery
Steve’s solar and battery help keep costs down
Steve’s solar and battery help keep costs down
Di’s air source heat pump has helped reduce bills and future-proof her home
Di’s air source heat pump has helped reduce bills and future-proof her home

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