Ensuring your home is well insulated is the first step to make your home energy efficient, reduce heat loss and reduce energy use. But there are other steps you can take to improve the energy performance of your home and reduce energy bills.
What is Solar Water Heating?
Solar water heating systems, or solar thermal systems, use free heat from the sun to warm domestic hot water. A conventional boiler or immersion heater can be used to make the water hotter, or to provide hot water when solar energy is unavailable.
Benefits of Solar Water Heating?
- Cheaper heating bills. The SEAI say that a solar thermal systems can meet 50-60% of your overall hot water requirement over the year, thereby saving you money on your annual hot water heating bills.
- More comfort. A solar water heating system can help make your home more energy efficient and comfortable. A registered contractor can help you to choose the best solution for your home.
- Reduced energy use. Heating your water with solar thermal will reduce your energy consumption. As you will be using your heating less, you will also cut down on your greenhouse gas emissions
Value of Solar Water Heating grant available from SEAI
The SEAI offers a €1,200 grant to households looking to update instal a solar water heating system.
Who can apply for an SEAI Solar Water Heating grant?
All homeowners, including landlords, whose homes were built and occupied before 2011 can apply. This is defined as the date your electricity meter was installed. Note that this is different to other grant measures where the home must be built before 2006.
A few points to consider about the Solar Water Heating Grant
It’s important to be aware that the solar thermal grant is only approved if solar panels are applied to your full home. The upgrades are completed based on the average number of people that could live in a home of your size, rather than the actual number of occupants.
If enough collectors are not installed this may result in non-payment of the grant by the SEAI. So, make sure that a compliance check is carried out by the registered contractor before work starts.
Also, there may be planning issues to consider. When installing a solar thermal system, it is important to note that the total collector area must not exceed 12m2 or 50% of the home’s total roof area, otherwise planning permission will be required. We recommend that you discuss this requirement with your registered contractor.