Whilst the sun has certainly been shy this summer, households can still harness its free energy to offset their heating bills. Many people assume that the sun can heat water only on the hottest, brightest days of the year, yet in reality a surprising amount of heat can be captured on overcast days - owners of greenhouses know this only too well as they attempt to rescue their summer blooms!
Although households can save energy and money by taking simple steps, such as switching off lights and preventing hot water taps from dripping, investment in new renewable technologies such as solar thermal will reap even greater rewards, especially once the original investment has been recouped.
A recent Energy Saving Trust (EST) study suggested that solar thermal panels can provide around 60% of hot water requirements. By integrating solar thermal panels into an existing heating system, solar energy will reduce fossil fuel consumption, saving money even on overcast days. 84% of householders in the EST study were either 'fairly satisfied' or 'very satisfied' with their solar thermal installations, indicating a huge vote of confidence in the technology. To encourage more households to embrace solar thermal, the Government is offering initial cash payments of £300 towards each installation, with further annual payments likely to be offered under the forthcoming Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, due to start in 2013. On top of this, local renewable energy experts Ecoliving are offering an additional £300 towards each installation!
Further information can be found on the Energy Saving Trust and Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) websites.
Ecoliving Ltd offers free, no obligation energy surveys and advice for a range of renewable technologies. Contact Peter Hardy on 0845 301 3121, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ecolivinguk.com