Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Does solar water systems really work in the UK?
A. Yes. Solar energy is the cleanest and most sustainable of all known energy sources. The UK receives about 60% of the sunís energy compared with the Equator. This means that even on cloudy and overcast days in summer and winter, a solar water system will typically deliver up to 70% of hot water over the course of a year.
Q. What is solar water heating?
A. Solar energy is collected by a Panel (solar collector), which is linked to your existing heating system. The sunís energy generates heated water which is ready for use in your home.
Q. Why install Solar Water Heating?
A. By choosing solar energy you will save on heating costs, reduce your carbon footprint, contribute to the environment and extend the life of your current heating system.
Q. Is solar water heating an alternative to my current heating?
A. Solar energy does not totally replace your current fuel needs but is used as a supplement to reduce your fuel costs.
Q. Where are the Panels installed?
A. The panels need to be in a position to best collect the sunís energy and in the UK that is south facing. The most common place to install the panels is directly onto the roof (either flat or pitched) although they can be placed on the ground or gable walls. They should also ideally be placed close to the hot water cylinder to avoid long pipe runs where heat can potentially be lost. If you do not have a south facing roof, then two panels can be placed in an East/West configuration (one on each roof slope).
Q. Do I need planning permission?
A. No Ė in the majority of cases planning permission is not required. However, in certain cases, ie if your home is in a conservation area, or if your home is classed as a listed building then yes you will need to get permission. You should always check with your local planning office as the rules do differ from area to area.
Q Can I link solar water heating with solid fuel stoves.
A Yes Ė The two systems are ideally matched to provide water heating throughout the whole year. Solid fuel stoves can be used to provide water and space heating during the winter with the solar system providing water heating during the summer and topping it up in the winter.
Q. Could I use solar heating to heat my swimming pool?
A. Yes. Solar is a very efficient way of heating the water within a swimming pool, dramatically reducing the cost of heating the pool conventionally.