Renewable Energy

There is a gradual but perceptible move toward the adoption of renewable sources of energy, and the technology required to utilise them.

Solar Heated Hot Water

Solar panels are normally fitted to a roof and you would need to establish that your roof is suitable. Solar panels do not need continuous sunlight, they will convert any form of light into energy and are still effective on cloudy days.

The panels are connected to a coil inside a special hot water storage cylinder which heats the hot water from the solar heat.  A further heating coil in the storage cylinder is connected to the normal central heating boiler and a control system activates the boiler only as a backup to the heat produced by the solar panels.

Types of Solar Panel Installation

Types of Solar Panel Installation

There are three basic types of solar panel installation:

An integrated solar power system is located within your roof tiles. This installation is discreet but can be more expensive.

Roof top systems function in a similar manner but the collectors are more visible on the roof.


A standalone system is also possible. Here you install the collector in your garden, if the space is available.

Save On Fuel With Solar Panels

Solar panels will generate energy all-year-round, with the greatest amount generated in summer when the sun is warmer and there are longer hours of daylight. Solar panels can supply up to 80% of a typical household’s hot water requirements, saving up to £150 on the annual fuel bill plus a significant reduction in the household’s carbon footprint by avoiding the generation of C02 emissions

A solar panel installation will cost in the order of £2,000 to £3,500. Most solar panel systems are guaranteed for ten years and usually very low maintenance.

Heat Pumps (Air Source and Ground Source)

Heat Pumps (Air Source and Ground Source) Installation of heat pumps can save over 6 tonnes of C02 emissions for a household, representing a huge contribution to the reduction in carbon footprint. This subject is covered in much more detail on the Heat Pumps Page.

Grants for Renewal Energy Products

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) has a low carbon buildings programme. Under this programme, grants are available to encourage householders to adopt microgeneration technologies such as solar panels and heat pumps.

Micro CHP - Combined Heat and Power Systems

Combined Heat & Power Systems simultaneously generate heat and electrical power in one process. Combined Heat & Power Systems are available in sizes from 4kW heat output to 36kW. The smaller units are aimed at small, well insulated dwellings. The 36kW units incorporate a supplementary boiler for additional heat output in larger homes.

The electrical power output of CHP (Combined Heat & Power) systems is typically 1kW to 3kW. They are connected to the national grid so that when power required exceeds generation it is automatically ‘topped-up’ from the mains. It may be possible to sell surplus power generated by the CHP system to your electricity supplier.

The typical fuel cost savings of CHP (Combined Heat & Power) systems could be approximately £150 a year when compared with a conventional gas-fired boiler.


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