Why should anyone buy a solar system? The Value Propositions

Why should anyone buy a solar system?

For most people this is the critical question that the solar thermal industry needs to answer. We have the product, we have the technology, but why should anyone part with their hard earned cash – for a solar heating or a solar water heating system?A good solar system costs around £4000 to install. In addition there might be some costs which you need to incur but here I am asking to focus focus on the solar related costs and not any additional plumbing upgrades that you need.

What then is the value for you to have a solar water heating system?

You spend more than you think on heating water

How much do you spend on your water heating bill? It is hard to know because your bill will not show you the money divided between all the energy applications in your home. If you look at government statistics around 24% of your household energy is spent on water heating. Water heating uses more energy than all your lighting and appliances put together. If you use gas or oil or LPG for water and central heating statistics show around a third of their bills are spent on water heating.

If you live in a well insulated double glazed home the proportion of heat energy used for water heating will be higher because however much energy you can save by home measures such as draught proofing and cavity wall insulation you need to use actual generated energy to heat water.

 If your lifestyle is such that you shower every day or twice a day you will also be spending a greater proportion of your energy on water heating.

 You will spend the money on energy anyway.

I assume that you are not going stop washing and showering so wherever you live you are going to spend the money anyway. A good solar system will cover 50% to 70% of your hot water. If you do the basic maths you will see that for oil, LPG and electric heating systems solar will save you at least £280 a year from day one. The savings are less with gas, but they will still be significant.

You are not just buying an appliance that heats water with a solar system you are buying future energy that you will need

A solar water heating system uses a fuel that is free – daylight – and daylight is not in short or diminishing supply and it is not taxed. Once you have bought the system you will reduce your energy utility bills. To the extent that the solar system displaces your fossil fuel, you are completely protected against future fuel price rises.

 The more hot water you use the greater your savings.

How often do you or your family bathe or shower or wash clothes? Do you have a heated pool? The more energy you use on these things the greater your savings will be. If you live alone and bathe once a week, a solar system will not provide you with great financial savings.

Unlike buying a boiler and paying for fuel you do get a payback with a solar system.

One day, usually somewhere between eight and twelve years from when you purchase your solar system, the system (unlike any other household appliance) will pay for itself. The precise day when it does this will depend in part on what happens to fossil fuel energy prices in the future.

You are getting some energy security

A war, a hurricane or bad weather event or the ever increasing energy demands of China and India may in the future cause problems with our nations’ energy security as the North Sea oil and gas has already peaked. A solar system provides you with some security that whatever happens elsewhere, your hot water supply will be secure.

You will help in the fight against climate change and pollution

You will significantly reduce your own carbon footprint. If you are using electricity or gas the carbon dioxide savings for a solar water heating system will be over a tonne a year and if you are using natural gas it will be around two fifths of a tonne a year, but again the precise carbon savings depends on your hot water usage.

You will add to the value of your home.

I cannot give you any detailed research to back this up, but Genersys customer feedback seems to suggest that if you fit a high quality in roof Genersys solar system you will put more on the value of your home than the system cost you.

A solar system is not just about a lifestyle choice – there is good value to be had and for most people it is a wise and profitable investment especially for large families and those off the gas network.