Solar Thermal offers a Return On Investment (ROI) of about 8 per cent, giving a payback period of less than 20 years.
Heating technology is more complicated than Solar PV and the systems need to be designed to deliver the optimum efficiencies and ensure they are safe – but like Solar PV, this technology is relatively cheap to install.
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Solar water heating systems use solar panels, called collectors, fitted to your roof. These collect heat from the sun and use it to heat up water which is stored in a hot water cylinder.
Solar thermal systems can be adapted to almost any property. The panels don't have to be mounted on a roof. They can be fixed to a frame on a flat roof or hanging from a wall. The solar panels need to face south, south-east or south-west and be in direct sunlight for most of the day, so you have to be careful about obstructions such as trees and tall buildings.
The Renewable Heat Incentive is a payment for generating heat from renewable sources. Tariffs started in November 2011 for non-residential systems and April 214 for households.
Solar thermal systems require very little maintenance. We recommend that the system is visually inspected annually and the system's heat transfer fluid (glycol) is professionally inspected at least every couple of years for domestic but more regularly for commercial installations. We have a number of service options that we can talk you through.
Most solar water heating systems do not require planning permission. It’s always advisable to check with the local planning officer. New legislation such as the “permitted development” ruling means applying for planning permission, if it is required, should be a fast and efficient process.
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is Government incentive scheme to encourage the uptake of renewable heat technology among businesses and homeowners.
It covers a range of technologies, including ground to water heat pumps, air to water heat pumps and solar thermal panels. Air to air heat pumps, are not supported by RHI.
The Non-domestic RHI was launched first in November 2011 to provide payments to industry, businesses and public sector organisations. The Domestic RHI was launched in April, 2014, and is open to homeowners, private landlords, social landlords and self-builders.
RHI cash payments are made quarterly over seven years. The amount you receive will depend on a number of factors - including the technology you install and the latest tariffs available for each technology.