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[Top»] Why is it good to use?

Solar power is a clean, environmentally friendly form of heating. There is no toxic residue and there are no emissions. Its life expectancy, scientists suggest, is infinite whereas fossil fuels are expected to "dry up" in an estimated 50 years.

Harnessing the power of the sun is becoming increasingly easy and for the skilled DIY’er certainly achievable with the latest technologies.  For those not so skilled the number of tradesman specialising in this area is increasing every month and in some cases Government grants (use link below) are available to help towards the cost. 

Solar energy originates from nuclear fusion in the heart of the sun’s atmosphere, it is emitted as radiation, mostly in the form of visible or near visible light. This light energy can be collected onto solar panels which, when connected to a heating system, can provide 50 to 60% of the hot water requirements for a normal household as well as a slightly lower percentage of energy needed for space heating.

[Top»] The Costs for DIY options

In most cases solar power alone is not enough to provide the complete heating and water requirements of a household, but it can halve your fuel bills (which incidentally will halve the carbon dioxide pollution emitting from your home).  You can expect to recover the cost of a solar installation in a few years.

The cost of a diy solar installation varies between £1500 and £2500 depending on the size and type of installation kit you choose.

The solar panel is the easiest form of collection point for heat, it is usually installed on a south or south-east facing roof section, they are installed with insulated tubes inside them that in simple terms heat the water or liquid that is passed through them.

The latest technology allows sun tracking panels to follow sun and face it all day. These have to be connected to a computer and are understandably more expensive. However, their increased ability to maximise the energy absorption from the suns rays actually makes them very cost effective.

For more information about how the process works click here

[Top»] Energy Providers

more information about ways you can save money on your energy bills.

It’s also worth looking at a tool such as to compare the price of gas and electricity in your area.  Most energy providers now have a green option where a confirmed amount of your energy will come from green sources.  The Government has tightened guidelines around how these products are described to ensure that they’re not just marketing gimics.

[Top»] Ask the Impartial Experts

For more free, impartial and locally relevant energy efficient information and advice you can contact the Energy Saving Trust ( There's a freephone number for you to ring for advice about all aspects of saving energy at home, and information about grants available to help pay for measures: 0800 512 012.

Your call will be automatically routed to your local Energy Efficiency Advice Centre.