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See how Home Solar Panels can save you money on your energy bill whilst reducing your carbon foot print.

Not only will you save money on your energy bills but you will receive income tax relief on the money you make from the Feed In Tariff, allowing you to build a nice little nest egg courtesy of HMRC!

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Solar Heating Systems

It makes sense if you can use solar energy to generate electricity that you must be able to use it to generate hot water too.


Solar water heating systems (also called Solar Thermal or Solar Water systems) work using the energy from the sun to heat a fluid which circulates through either tubes or panels on your roof. The heated liquid is then pumped through a heating coil inside a water cylinder to provide enough hot water for showers and baths. However, if the liquid in the tubes is cooler than the water in the heating cylinder, a second coil connected to a back-up boiler or immersion heater provides enough hot water instead.


What are the benefits of solar water heating?

Solar water heating will:

  • Give you hot water most of the year, although an extra burst of heat is need in the winter months from a boiler or immersion heater.
  • Reduce your utilities bills as you won’t have to use fuel to heat your water during the warmer months of the year
  • Help you do your bit for the environment – you will be using less fossil fuels to heat your water so your carbon footprint will shrink


How much money could you save with solar water heating?

Not everyone can have solar heating fitted. In fact, there are some very specific things you need in order to have a system fitted:


A decent amount of sunny roof space it’s not always necessary to have a roof that faces due south, but you do at least need to have the collector tubes or panels in the sun for a good part of the day. East and west facing homes can have solar water heating fitted, but it may not work at maximum efficiency.


A larger or second hot water cylinder the water you use to shower or bathe in comes from its own cylinder with a heating coil inside that carries the hot fluid from the roof.  If you already have a hot water cylinder you can have a slightly larger one fitted with the solar water heating coil needed or a second separate cylinder fitted.


A compatible boiler unfortunately many combination boilers are not compatible with solar water heating systems as the water cylinders have been removed when the boiler was fitted.


Planning permission - not usually needed for solar water heating as it is considered a permitted development. However, if you live in a conservation area or listed building you will probably need to get advice before going ahead, as local planning officers may have very specific ideas about what is and isn’t allowed.

How much money could you save with solar water heating?

The amount of money that can be saved annually depends on the fuel that you currently use to heat your house and what sort of demand you normally have for hot water.


A 1m2 solar heating panel will produce half of the hot water needs for one person.  Panels are usually between 2-4m2 depending on the number of people in the house, and usually one or two panels are fitted.

For example, if you have a three bed semi and heat your home using gas you could save around £50 a year. Electricity is the most expensive way to heat your home so the savings are greater at about £85. Oil or solid fuel sits in between these two.


However, like solar PV panels, solar water heating system maintenance costs are very low and just need to be checked over by an accredited installer once every 3-5 years.


How much money could you MAKE with solar water heating?

Unlike the Solar PV panels, you do not receive any Feed-In Tariff payments from solar water heating as you cannot export any of the energy you collect to anywhere else. It is for personal consumption.


However, in October 2012, residential households in England, Scotland and Wales will be able to claim payments for the power generated by solar water heating through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). Anyone who has fitted a renewable heating system – whether that’s solar water heating, ground or air source heat pump or a biomass boiler - after 29th July 2009 will be eligible to receive the payments for the next 20 years.


To find out more about how you could financially benefit from having solar water heating fitted to your property – even if you think you can’t afford to have it done – call one of our solar water heating experts now on 0800 043 ****.