The benefits of solar hot water

Solar hot water systems deliver reasonable financial benefits when the Renewable Heat Incentive and RHPP are taken into account:

  • Reduced heating costs: By converting free sunlight into heat, you can reduce your heating and hot water bill by as much as £80 a year, with the RHPP scheme giving a grant of £300. With the Renewable Heat Incentive included, this saving will be even greater.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: Energy from the sun produces no carbon dioxide or other harmful greenhouse gases.
  • Hot water all year: The system works all year round, though you'll need to heat the water further with a boiler or immersion heater during the winter months.
  • Low maintenance: Most solar water heating systems come with a 5-10 year warranty and require little maintenance.

Calculate your savings!

Typical Savings

Solar water-heating can provide you with about half of your hot water needs. In a study by BRE, 6 houses fitted with solar water heating were monitored and the energy savings in heating and hot water varied from 26 – 70%. The average was 50%, which is an average saving of 1,200 kWh of energy per year.

Energy Saving Trust studies suggest savings based on the hot water and heating requirements of a 3 bed semi-detached home with a 3.4m2 collector are £80 a year for a home using electricity, and £55 per year for a gas heated home.

What to do next?

Find an accredited installer

FAQs

Does my roof need to face south to be suitable for solar thermal?
A south facing roofs at a 30° angle offers the best annual output for a solar thermal system. However, east or west facing roofs can function very well as the available solar radiation only reduces by about 20% in these orientations. The size of the panels can be increased to compensate for this reduction.
What guarantees should I expect with solar thermal panels?
These will vary between makes, but typically solar thermal collectors should be guaranteed for around 10 years. Other components and labour are usually guaranteed for 5 years.
Do I need planning permission to install solar thermal panels?
Roof mounted solar thermal systems do not usually need planning permission unless they exceed a certain height, or if the property is listed or in a conservation area. However, it is best to check your local authority's information. Take a look at our Planning Permissions page for further information on the permissions in your area.
How much do solar thermal collectors weigh?
It depends on the make, but in they usually weigh in the region of about 20kg per square metre. Typical panels can measure around 2m x 1m or 2m x 2m, with 5m2 needed for the average installation.
Do I need permission from Building Control to install solar thermal panels?
A buildings notice is usually not required for solar thermal panels as long as the units are below a certain height when installed. This will depend on your local authority, and whether your building is listed or in a conservation area, so you should contact your local office to confirm. You can find more information about Planning permission for solar panels here.
Get more answers ...

Energy Assessment

  • 3 minute online survey
  • Find energy saving solutions
  • Start saving energy and money!
Find a solution for your home!