Solar thermal panels use the energy from the sun to heat water, which is pumped into a plumbing system where it can be used immediately as hot water or stored for later use. There are two types of solar thermal systems; evacuated tubes or flat panel collectors.
Solar thermal systems can supply all your summer hot water and a significant amount of your winter hot water too. It’s one of the cheapest and most established renewable energy technologies. Solar thermal can be designed to connect with most existing heat systems as long as you have a roof facing within 900 of south, and the space for a larger cylinder to store hot water (the heat store).
A typical system is about 2-4m2 and costs between £4,000 and £5,000, less if you have a spare coil in your existing cylinder. The Renewable Heat Premium Payment Scheme (RHPP) offers £300 towards the initial installation cost. The government also intends to introduce a domestic element to the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), paying the householder for producing renewable heat. Details of the RHI are expected to be announced with the Green Deal early 2013.
WREN are currently offering one off government grants of around £1000 to homeowners interested in solar thermal. The deadline for registering interest is 12th November. If you are interested in producing low carbon solar hot water contact Jerry Clark: 01208 895103 or email
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