Generate Solar water heating

Solar water heating systems use free heat from the sun to produce domestic hot water.

Solar collectors (panels) are fitted onto your roof and collect heat from the sun and use it to heat up water which is stored in a hot water cylinder. Solar thermal installations fall into two groups: passive and active systems. Both systems typically include another energy source to maintain the correct water temperature such as an immersion heater or your existing gas or oil central heating system. This will activate when the water in the tank falls below the minimum temperature setting your choose and insures you will always have hot water, when you need it.

Solar water heating illustration

A typical solar hot water system will generate around a third of your hot water needs. It will provide most of your hot water in the summer but only a minimal amount in the winter and this could save you around £55 to £80 on your annual water-heating bills based on a three-bedroom semi-detached house.

The energy saving trust estimate that the cost of installing a typical solar water heating system is around £3,000 to £5,000 (including VAT at 5%). Your roof will need to face east to west through south and will need to receive direct sunlight for the main part of the day to get the highest efficiency out of the system.

  • Solar water heating Advantages

  • Solar power is free, clean and green.
  • Solar water heating can provide you with about a third of your hot water needs.
  • A solar water heating system could save you between £55 and £80 a year on your water heating costs.
  • Carbon savings are between 230kg and 510kg of CO2 a year.
  • Maintenance costs are very low.
  • The energy from the sun is free so once your solar panels are installed, you will have no further costs except for a small amount of electricity needed to run the pump.
  • In England, planning permission for most solar water installations is no longer needed. Governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are also currently looking to introduce similar initiatives.
  • Solar water heating Disadvantages

  • To make sure that you have a reliable source of hot water you will still need a boiler or immersion heater.
  • Your roof will need to face east to west through south and will need to receive direct sunlight for the main part of the day to get the highest efficiency out of the system.
  • Initial outlay costs for a solar water system are still quite high around £3,000 to £5,000.
  • Your roof must be in good structural condition as solar panels can be quite heavy especially when laid on top of your existing tiles.

Available with

You can get grants for Solar water heating, below are the schemes this is available with.

* According to data sourced from the Energy Saving Trust website.