Solar Thermal


Using the sun to pump free energy and hot water into your home is a highly-efficient and cost-effective option

Solar panels are ideal to heat your water, but don’t rely on those estimates of payback time – they are dependent on, and consequently as reliable as the British weather. Even in summer, there will be times when you have to top up the hot water temperature using the immersion heater.

Very accessible technology in that it is relatively cheap, though expect prices to fall over the next few years as the market becomes more competitive.



  • Free energy from the sun. Much cheaper than PV solar panels (£4,000 plus) and providing up to 60 per cent of your hot water needs.

  • Grants of £400 are available from the Low Carbon Buildings Programme.


  • The new double glazing: beware doorsteppers giving you the hard sell and quoting high prices.

  • You’ll probably need a new hot water tank, too.

  • To qualify for a grant, you have to use an accredited installer, and ‘accredited’ quotes can be higher than those from other reputable suppliers.

Useful Contacts

Solar Trade Association:
Energy Saving Trust:
Low Carbon Buildings Programme:


Words: Dominic Murphy 

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