solar faqs

q: Is my property suitable for a solar water heating system?
a: The optimum location for solar panels is a shade free, south facing roof pitched at 35 degrees. However, panels sited with aspects from south-east to south-west and on roof pitches from flat to 75 degrees can still provide at least 80% of the solar heated water from siting solar panels in an optimum position.

q: Is solar water heating effective in the UK?
a: In the UK we receive vast amounts of solar energy. The average amount of solar energy received in a year can be as much as 60% of that received at the equator.

q: What is the payback of a solar water heating system?
a: Payback is a purely financial measurement that assigns monetary values to revenue streams, and therefore does not take into consideration the full benefits of installing a solar water heating system. Financial benefits are only part of the value that these systems generate. Non financial benefits such as reducing your carbon footprint, increasing the ‘sale-ability’ of your home (due to increased energy efficiency) and increasing your energy self sufficiency (due to less reliance on third party energy suppliers) should all be considered.

What you should be concerning yourself with is the reduced operating costs that you will gain for your investment. You don’t ask for payback of your dishwasher when you upgrade, do you? It’s the operating capability that you are interested in. Solar panels deliver a more efficient method of satisfying your requirements, therefore leading to a lower cost per litre of hot water, coupled with little or no ongoing maintenance costs. With solar panels typically designed to last as long as your home, you can enjoy a lifetime of cheaper hot water.

q: How long will it take to install a solar water heating system?
a: Typically an installation will take between three and four days on an average domestic property.

q: Is planning permission required for the installation of a solar water heating system?
a: From 12th March 2009 planning permission in Scotland is no longer needed for the installation of domestic solar water heating systems, unless your home is a Listed Building or in a Conservation Area. Planning Authorities in Scotland now accept that solar panels on a roof are a “permitted development”, which does not require planning consent.


wood fuel faqs