Solar Thermal Information

Solar Thermal Information

Introduction to Solar Thermal

Solar Thermal (for producing solar hot water) is the most developed renewable energy technology in the UK. In many homes systems are installed easily and with little disruption, complimenting existing heating systems. The UK has a climate suitable for producing a significant amount of our domestic hot water (DHW) from solar thermal. Note that DHW is classed as hot water used for washing and domestic uses in the home, not for space heating.

Benefits of Solar Thermal

  • From April 2011 you will receive income from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

  • Relatively low capital investment in comparison to other renewable technologies

  • Can produce a significant amount of hot water over the year

  • The most developed and well established renewable technology in the UK

  • No ongoing fuel costs

Sample Solar Thermal System

The below details are for a sample solar thermal system. It assumes an average home with a suitable, unshaded, south facing roof.

System size2 panels (collectors)
Total collector area4 m2(2 x 2m2)
Typical system cost£ 5,500
Estimate of annual energy produced1,300 kWh
Equivalent energy to running a 60W laptop continuously for2.5 years
Annual CO2 saved (replacing gas / oil)353 / 451 kg
Proportion of DHW produced from solar50%
Likely Return on Investment6%
Likely annual reduction is energy bills (gas / oil)£ 55 / £ 67
Estimated Renewable Heat Incentive payments (from April 2011)~ £ 240 per year


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