I am going to start by recommending J Tomlinson, a national firm with a base in Beeston, for their frank advice on the installation of a Solar Thermal hot water system for our home. Briefly, we have long known that the orientation of the roof means that it is not suitable for Solar PV, but many have recommended Solar Thermal for hot water – especially since the latter should soon attract a renewable heat incentive (RHI).
In the past few months, I have spoken to several alternative energy firms, all of whom scoped the property from Google Earth – and remained positive. A few have subsequently been around to survey the property, absolutely full of enthusiasm, but then not got back to me. I now know why! It turns out that the siting is such that Solar Thermal probably won’t pay back over the lifetime of the system, although only J Tomlinson have been straightforward enough to let me know.
Quoting their letter “After completing an assessment of orientation and hot water demand our designers calculations conclude that our standard range of systems would provide a limited supply of hot water and little pay back over the life of the system. As explained, we only propose an installation where we are confident the system will meet your expectations and provide a return on investment. This is not to suggest that other companies will be unable to meet your needs by using different product. I would like to thank you for the opportunity to assess your property for the installation of a Solar Thermal hot water system but on this occasion we are unable to recommend a suitable system. ”
Another blow is that for all sorts of reasons, the sedum roof (see previous post) is no longer happening. What a shame – the final nail was when we realised that the roof would be near invisible from the garden, in fact, near invisible from anywhere but the children’s bedrooms! There is a similarly daft story to tell of the attic dormer that has just gone in.
The sedum roof was always the vanity/eco-bling part of our project, more exciting than insulation (but less insulating), so its a shame its no longer on the cards. Maybe we will content ourselves with a green roof shed or garage at some point in the distant future …
Otherwise, work is progressing well, the insulation is beginning to go in, but there is no way we are going to complete by one month today, as originally intended. Although much of the work may be complete by then, we have only just ordered the doors and sliding folding doors, both of which have a lead in time of about 9 weeks.
Finally, I should have probably posted an image of the original SAP report for the house back in October. When we bought the house, it was in band G, the lowest of all energy efficiency categories. Unlike the figure, sorry, image, I sincerely hope that we are able to raise the house’s energy efficiency quite a bit above the “potential” band F.