How to Save on Fuel Bills: Solar Water Heating

The Government of the United Kingdom has announced that it will enact legislation to force energy companies to offer no more than four tariffs and to advise their customers of the cheapest tariff. At a time when energy companies are making record profits from record margins the change is long overdue. Sometime son energy companies will no longer be able to confuse customers with a plethora of tariffs and they will be forced to abandon the so called legacy tariffs under which someone that has not to time or to skill to understand that the tariff they are paying is ridiculously high.

I can only hope that the government will enact similar legislation for the banks (there are many legacy accounts from which the banks make a nice little earner) the cell phone providers and the internet providers. In fact oligopolies are expert at confusing people into paying more than is fair for their products and services.

Energy bills are in the forefront of people’s minds right now; people feel cheated by the energy companies and they really do not care about that. It is not as though the consumer is spoilt for choice.

After the legislation is enacted I expect the energy oligopolies to find was to circumvent the intention of it and continue to reap massive profits. The only solution is to make yourself as energy self-sufficient as possible. A good place to start is solar water heating. In a well-insulated home on the gas grid network heating water can account for up to 50% of your total heating bill. Solar water heating in the United Kingdom will not provide 100% freedom from using the energy companies for heating water but it can produce up to 70% of your energy for heating water. These days that represents a good investment.

Of course, you could keep your savings in the bank where they will earn a pittance which is less than the rate of inflation and substantially less than the rate of energy price inflation, and you will pay tax on any interest you receive. An investment in solar water heating will provide you with a significantly higher return from your savings than bank interest, you do not have to worry about the stability of banks, and you will gain a better measure of energy independence than you have if you rely on the energy companies.

You investment will also provide you with more income than the savings; in the summer the Renewable Heat Incentive will be launched. People who have had solar water heating from July 2009 will be able to claim under the renewable heat incentive. The amount you can claim has not yet been settled; the government is talking about paying 20 years’ worth of incentive over seven years, so that will probably translate into receiving a payment from the government of several hundred pounds for seven years.

It is good value for money, especially if you use Genersys solar thermal panels. I founded Genersys and I am closely connected with Genersys. The product comes with a twenty year guarantee and will not spoil the appearance of your home, as it can be roof integrated. Owning your own Genersys water heating system is a bit like owning your own power station, except, fo course that the “fuel” used by solar water heating is not dug up from the ground or made from chopping down trees, but comes from daylight, which no government will ever be able to tax and which will never fall into the ownership of oligopolies.

3 Responses

  1. I note your confidence regarding the government’s so called inability to tax daylight.

    In 1696, William III enacted a window tax. Whilst it was really what you might call a mansion tax because it was determined by the number of windows in a house, I would not assume that any government would not tax daylight.

    In fact, if enough people took your advice to get ‘off grid’ then the government would be forced to seek to tax renewables such as wind, light, solar, to make up for the lost VAT on gas and electricity.

    This is also a coming issue for motorists. Many have changed to more economical cars and taken advantage of increased mpg and reduced road tax. The government now needs to make up the tax shortfall and is proposing road tolls. As I see it we are not going to be allowed to save money or the planet for free.

    Similarly if we bought electric cars in significant numbers the government might have to tax electricity at the rates used for petrol. Otherwise, again it would lose significant revenue.

    As for governments/oligopolies not being able to own daylight, I would not bet on it.


    Maybe this could be adapted to heat water as well as make electricity, kill one bird with two stones.

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