Northern Ireland: Renewable Energy for All New Buildings in 2008?
The government of Northern Ireland has proposed to change building regulations to make it mandatory for all new buildings built from 2008 onward to use renewable energy. "[It will] apply to all new homes, company and public buildings [and] make micro-generation, such as solar panels to heat hot water, solar photo voltaic panels on roofs to generate electricity or small wind turbines for houses mandatory". Secretary of State Peter Hain seems a fan of green energy. He said: "I am fully committed to the use of renewable energy and I know how effective it can be. In my home in Wales, I have installed PV panels on my roof and this has resulted in my energy bill being halved." If solar can work in Ireland, it can work anywhere! The programme will offer grants to up to 50% to 4000 households of the cost of installing systems such as solar heating schemes and photovoltaic panels, small scale wind turbines, biomass boilers and geothermal heat pumps. It will be handled by a partnership led by Action Renewables, along with the Energy Saving Trust and the Northern Ireland Energy Action. Irish readers who want more information about grants can call 0800 023 4077. ::Northern Ireland leading the way on green energy, via ::Northern Ireland Proposes Mandatory Solar or Wind on All New Buildings