This is a sponsored post in association with VELUX®. Please see my disclosure policy for information on these types of posts.
I could talk about renewable energy until the cows come home! I’m infinitely enthralled by wave power in particularly, but on a smaller, at-home scale, I’m really into the idea of solar water heating systems.
At the start of last year we lost our power for 3 days in a bad wind storm. I could cope without the lights. I could cope without the heat (we have a lot of blankets and hot water bottles to hand because I cannot bear to be cold, ever). But I could not cope without the hot water. I’d only given birth six days previously and all I wanted most in the world was a hot shower. The idea of generating our own power to minimise these kind of shocks is therefore so very appealing. And not just in case of power cuts caused by weather events – reports suggest that UK gas reserves are low, so taking steps to become self-reliant when it comes to energy seems prudent.
Not to mention, of course, the money saving and eco-friendly aspects of renewable energy: solar water heating systems (also known as solar thermal) can provide about a third of your household’s hot water needs. Although costing between £3,000 and £5,000 to buy and install, you can save between £55 and £80 a year. You’ll also be less reliant on the energy companies, which is always a win! Gas prices are at record highs with no signs of going down so who knows what you’d be saving in the near future – hundreds of pounds possibly. Come Summer 2013 you will also earn money through the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive, pushing your savings up further.
To explain a bit more about how solar water heating works here’s a little infographic I found which demonstrates solar water heating systems quite succinctly:
Image from Which?
Solar water heating systems can provide most of your hot water requirements in the summer, but you’ll still need a boiler for winter. You’ll also need a suitable roof area (preferably south facing). If you’ve got a boiler and a roof that gets a lot of sun then you’re halfway there, but if you’re looking for a good source of information then I’d recommend the VELUX website. VELUX have a 6 point guide to help you choose the solar water heating system you need to suit your requirements best. They also have straightforward installation instruction videos and diagrams in their technical section, which are really handy.
I have heard nothing but good reports from people who have solar water heating systems, and soon I hope to join their ranks!
* Main image from here