Renewable Energy Feasibility Studies

Renewable Energy Feasibility Studies

We have wide-ranging experience of feasibility studies for both domestic and non-domestic clients. As an independent, not-for-profit organisation with over 25 years' experience in the sector, we're ideally placed to give you unbiased advice about renewable energy.

Our renewable energy feasibility studies service
Building the business case for investment
Churches and heritage buildings
Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF)

Our renewable energy feasibility studies service

Our unique position in the energy efficiency and renewable energy sector enables us to provide independent and unbiased advice to a variety of groups and organisations. We are able to undertake feasibility studies, strategic reviews and provide policy advice to individuals, community-based groups, businesses, local authorities and developers.

We've conducted heating surveys, renewable energy feasibility studies, energy efficiency assessments and other projects for a wide range of clients, including: schools; utilities; shops; offices; manufacturers; communal housing and community buildings.

Key benefits of our renewable energy feasibility studies service

  • Independent, unbiased and authoritative heating system study and an investigative energy efficiency survey.
  • Technology-neutral investigation and report on the appropriateness and suitability of low/zero-carbon (renewable energy) heating and microgeneration systems.
  • Call to action - comprehensive findings and conclusions plus recommended solutions.

Technologies considered in renewable energy feasibility studies

As part of our study, we look into the viability of a wide range of renewable energy technologies for both new-build and existing buildings and sites. These include:

  • Solar thermal.
  • Solar photovoltaic panels.
  • Wind turbines.
  • Ground source heating and cooling.
  • Air-source heating and cooling.
  • Biomass boilers and stoves.
  • Hydro.
  • Combined heat and power.
  • Combined cooling heat and power.

What our renewable energy feasibility studies service covers

For each technology we consider, our feasibility study includes:

  • Description of the technology.
  • Overview of the technical feasibility.
  • Potential advantages and disadvantages of installing the technology.
  • Possible constraints.
  • Estimated cost of installation.
  • Financial incentives (eg: the Feed-in Tariff, the Renewable Heat Incentive and other potential funding sources).
  • Estimated return on investment.
  • CO2 savings over time.
  • Recommendations regarding the most suitable technologies.
  • Recommendations on improvements to building energy efficiency.
  • Next steps.

As an additional service, we can also help you identify potential suppliers and installers, and assist in the tendering and selection process.

Building the business case for investment 

Although some renewable and energy efficiency opportunities can be implemented through operational change, and don't require any capital investment, others require capital investment. We have excellent experience of helping organisations identify and quantify energy efficiency opportunities and then build the business case to secure the required investment and get the opportunities adopted:

  • Understanding what the decision makers are looking for.
  • Obtaining forward estimates of energy prices.
  • Identifying any additional benefits.
  • Quantifying any implementation costs.
  • Considering the financing.
  • Raising and discussing any possible risks.
  • Considering the various financial appraisal methods - for example: Simple Payback Period (SPP); Discounted Cash Flow (DCF); Internal Rate of Return; and Life Cycle Costing.

We can help you with any stage in the process.

Churches and heritage buildings

Churches and heritage buildings hold a special and historic place in their local communities, and some might be listed buildings. With our focus on improving the use of energy in buildings, we provide a variety of services in this area - for example: assessments, surveys and analyses. Other services are more bespoke and might be developed in response to particular funding streams becoming available or particular groups requiring specific help.

Churches and heritage buildings face a number of challenges:

  • Limited periods of use.
  • A major visual impact in their local communities.
  • Heritage and historical value.
  • Very different airflow patterns to similar-sized buildings.
  • Often not had any work undertaken for many years.
  • Difficult to retrofit.

Although there's no 'one-size-fits-all' solution to improving the use of energy in traditionally constructed buildings, we understand that every action proposed must be balanced carefully with the need to conserve national and local heritage. We achieve this by offering an independent and sympathetic heating system and energy efficiency investigative study that includes an unbiased assessment of the appropriateness of different low/zero-carbon technology solutions.

The need to conserve the special characteristics of historic buildings needs to be recognised. In such work, the aim is to improve the energy efficiency where and to the extent that it is practically possible, always providing that any work required does not prejudice the character and fabric of the traditionally-built and historical building, or increase the risk of long-term deterioration to the building fabric or fittings.

To meet this requirement, we offer an independent and tailored service that is both sensitive to the nature and use of the building and one that fully fulfils your over-all energy, CO2 and cost-saving objectives. We also recommend an appropriate balance between the conservation of energy and that of the historic building; and it's always appropriate to take into account the advice of the local planning authority’s Conservation Officer or the Historic Buildings Inspector.

Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF)

This £15 million Defra-funded initiative seeks to support rural communities to develop renewable energy projects which provide economic and social benefits to the community.
Funding is available in two phases:

  1. £20,000 grants for renewable energy feasibility studies.
  2. Loans of up to £130,000 to support planning applications and developing a business case.

Full eligibility criteria are available on the WRAP website.

What people say about this service

I found the service we received from the National Energy Foundation excellent. The report provided a valuable framework against which we can procure sustainable systems for our new-build homes.

Phil Yorke, Chief Executive , South Western Housing Society

Four Housing

Related case studies

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Land Use Consultants - Cassiobury Park Visitor Centre energy strategy advice

Cassiobury Park is the largest public open space in Watford comprising over 190 acres of green space stretching from Watford town centre to woodland and countryside to the west of the town. Watford Borough Council was undertaking large-scale regeneration of the park, part-funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
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Energy Alton - PV feasibility study for schools in Alton, Hampshire

We assessed the potential for installing photovoltaics on three secondary schools in Alton. We worked out how much it would cost, how much electricity it would generate, and how long it would take for the investment to pay for itself.
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Milton Keynes Parks Trust required energy efficiency audits, an onsite renewable energy feasibility study and a lifecycle cost analysis for three commercial properties in Milton Keynes.
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Leon School and Sports College - renewable energy proposal review

Leon School and Sports College (now Sir Herbert Leon Academy & Leon Leisure Centre) required a comprehensive review of a proposal provided by e.on on a renewable energy system to highlight the risks and benefits around the installation of an onsite biomass energy scheme.
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Cottsway - renewable/low-carbon energy technologies feasibility study

Cottsway housing association required us to identify the most appropriate renewable or low-carbon energy technologies to implement, taking into account: fuel resources, reliability, user friendliness, local planning constraints and savings versus costs, in terms of both finance and carbon emissions.