Homeowners thinking about investing in a solar thermal system, using the free energy from the sun to heat their water and thus reduce their reliance on ever more expensive fossil fuels, have been given further encouragement by the announcement of the Governments loans scheme for energy efficiency improvements.
As a leading manufacturer and supplier of solar hot water systems, SolarUK looks set to see plenty of interest in its products in the coming months, with inquiries about solar photovoltaic panels having already flooded in over recent weeks in the run-up to the new Feed-in Tariffs introduction.
The upfront costs of making a home more eco-friendly will be eased by loans to fund insulation, solar panels and other green technologies.
These will be long-term loans, with repayments made on a pay-as-you-save basis. The scheme will be arranged to ensure that repayments are less than the borrower saves each month on energy bills. One positive result will be that a homeowner with energy efficient technology in place could benefit from extra monthly income even before the loan has been paid off.
Energy-efficient homes are cheaper to run and the Government hopes that this will soon be reflected in buyer demand and property prices. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) would like to see quality standards in place for both the equipment and the installers to ensure that the installations last long enough to provide reassurance for future house buyers and a boost in property valuations. This is a significant consideration as the loans will be attached to properties rather than to borrowers.
SolarUK has been in the business for over ten years and is MCS-accredited and a member of the Solar Trade Association. Its award-winning LaZer2 system, manufactured at its Sussex factory, comes with a 25 year warranty having been designed with long-term reliability and performance in mind.
Within the renewables sector the solar thermal industry is relatively mature and is particularly suited to wide-scale roll out, with shorter payback times making it increasingly affordable and cost-competitive.
News of the loans scheme comes just weeks before the start of the Feed-in Tariff, which will offer small-scale installers of solar PV a fixed rate for the energy they produce, with further payments for transferring any surplus to the national grid. In addition, the Renewable Heat Incentive, which comes into force next year, will guarantee long-term payments for installers of solar thermal and other renewable technologies.