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

Do I need to replace my hot water cylinder to get a solar thermal panels installed?
If your hot water cylinder is not large enough for a second heating coil it will need to be replaced with a larger 'solar cylinder' specially designed for use with solar thermal panels. The cylinder needs to be larger because it has to accommodate your boiler/immersion heater's heating coil as well as the heating coil from the solar thermal system.
How much space do I need on my roof for a solar thermal installation?
Typical installations have panels occupying 4.6 - 6.9m2 of roof area.
Will my roof be strong enough to take solar thermal panels?
Most roofs are strong enough to take a solar thermal installation without any reinforcement. Your installer will be able to advise you further; you can find out more about the Installation of Solar Thermal Panels here.
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.
Can I heat my house and my hot water using solar thermal?
Currently no solar thermal system installed in the UK will be able to fully meet your heating and hot water needs. Aside from the fact that the UK is generally a less sunny country, during the winter months when sunshine is minimal you will definitely need a back up source of water heating such as an immersion heater.
Get more answers ...

Energy Assessment

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