Hot water you will want to get into
Hot water you will want to get into

New proposals have been announced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to increase support for solar in both the non-domestic and sector and for individual homeowners.

Also, from the 20th May 2013, and up until the introduction of the domestic RHI next year renewable heat premium payment suitable for solar thermal installations on domestic properties is being doubled from £300 to £600 per installation.

DECC are to enhancing support for solar thermal through a new tariff review under the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The proposal includes a measure to increase the current non-domestic solar thermal tariff from 9.2p to between 10p and 11.3p per kilowatt hour (kWh).

In recent years Grant UK has significantly increased its’ investment in the development of solar thermal technology and now offers arguably one of the most energy efficient systems on the market today with flat plate collectors achieving efficiencies of 82.6%.

With the Government looking to cut greenhouse gases (80% by 2050), installing renewable technologies are becoming more mainstream. The private new build marketplace is beginning to stir and social housing new build (another developing area), is also likely to impact growth over the coming year, increasing solar thermal systems are being used as part of bivalent systems utilising high efficiency condensing boilers.

As far as regulatory conformance is concerned, Grant Solar Thermal products have attained the CEN Solar Keymark. This scheme is the equivalent to and qualifies them under MCS. Historically the Solar Keymark Scheme was the only approval body for solar thermal panels across Europe but in order to minimise duplication of testing and certification by manufacturers it was agreed by DECC that these products would be covered under MCS through the Solar Keymark scheme.

Harnessing the sun’s rays, this free and natural resource, is the perfect alternative to traditional fossil fuels, which are both expensive and diminishing. With Carbon emissions and an inexhaustible supply of sunshine, yes even in the UK, solar thermal offers homeowners an easy way to reduce their carbon footprint. The technology operates from both direct and diffused sunlight, so perfectly designed for the UK’s rather inclement weather. This product also achieves as much as a 70% saving in water heating costs.

Solar Collectors transfer heat to the cylinder where hot water is produced. These can be installed using either an ‘on-roof’, ‘in-roof’ or ‘flat-roof’ mounting system. Maintenance is kept to a minimum using self-cleaning glass. For ease of ordering Grant provides these products in kit form complete with all the required components. Grant solar controllers automate the operation of the solar thermal system making ownership easy to run and stress free. The Grant solar pump station has been designed with the installer in mind, incorporating an air eliminator and manual bleed screw for rapid air removal from the system.

In an effort to combine multiple heating elements our R&D team developed the Grant CombiSOL. This product is was first to market enabling installers to integrate a combination boiler and solar thermal. In short, it controls the outlet temperature of stored water produced by the solar thermal and directs the flow to either directly to the hot water outlet or via the combi-boiler.

The installation of a Solar Thermal system must be carried out by competent installers in accordance with the relevant health and safety guidelines, local building regulations, building standards in Scotland and regulations/bylaws of the local water company. If the property owner wishes to benefit from RHI, the installer must be MCS approved. Due to recent changes in legislation, planning permission is not required on most domestic properties unless they are listed buildings or in an area of outstanding natural beauty, when it’s a little more complex.

Grant UK runs regular, free of charge, training courses for installers at its renowned Training Academy in Devizes, Wiltshire. Candidates are educated on a full sized ‘training roof’, learning about the design/plan of solar thermal, installation, operation, and finally covering key features and benefits of the system.

National Sales Manager of Grant UK, Dave Hall, commented: “Solar Thermal is a very environmentally friendly option. To be able to capture a natural resource and convert it into a valuable commodity is extremely satisfying. The benefits to the business are substantial.”

Full details of the Grant UK solar thermal range and accessories can be found at