How much does it cost?

A typical system costs from £2850* for a 2-3 person household if a suitable cylinder is already in place.
Larger systems including a new cylinder are likely to cost from £4500*.

How much money can I save?

This can vary substantially depending how you currently heat your water and how much you use and how much sunshine there is in a given year.
We would be happy to look at you case in detail.
A Solar water heating system is one of few home improvements that may not only add value to a property but also save you money over the years.

Are there any grants available?

You may be entitled to a Government RHI payment if you have a solar water heating system installed. Typical Domestic total income from £1500 to 3000.

Will it affect my house price?

Many estate agents consider Solar heating will make a house more “saleable” and may have a small positive effect. Even a 1% increase is often likely to be greater than the cost of the system. We would always recommend you seek specialist advice on this matter.

Why is it good for the environment?

The water heating requires an economical low power pump to run in order to supply a larger amount of energy from the sun. This is all achieves within your home so less energy needs to be produced elsewhere and then transported to your home. Consequently there can be a substantial net saving of energy produced by Power Station’s that emit large amounts of Carbon dioxide and other pollutants.

What if my roof doesn’t face south?

If your roof faces South/East or South/West a system will still work but a few percent less efficiently. We can simply install a slightly larger panel. If your roof faces East / West a twin pump / twin panel system can be installed or we can simply oversize the panels to compensate.

Do I need planning permission?

Planning permission is not normally required (other than in conservation areas) you should always check with your local planning department. (We are happy to assist you in doing this).

How long will the system last

The panel is made of a tough Borosilicate glass evacuated tubes (similar to Pyrex)  It is designed to last in excess of 25 years so the energy consumed during its manufactured is a tiny fraction of the energy that it will produce over its service life.

How safe is it?

Though very high temperatures can be achieved in the panel, its heat is then transferred into a water cylinder where the temperature is regulated. Over pressurisation is neutralised by an expansion vessel and protected by a pressure relief valve.

Will it work when it’s not sunny?

The panel is most productive during the summer months and on sunny days, at times providing all of the hot water required. However on overcast days and during the winter it makes a valuable contribution so that the boiler will have less work to do than if it had to heat mains temperature cold water.

Can the panel heat my radiators or underfloor heating?

Some larger and more complex solar heating systems can make a worthwhile contribution to space heating. (Sadly the RHI cannot be claimed for the extra heat but this is currently under review by BEIS).
Phase Change Materials (PCM) can also be used to store heat.

Can I do a DIY installation myself?

There are some special skills and equipment required to install your own system and it is advisable to attend a training course to complete a whole installation, however substantial savings can be made if the panel and control system are installed professionally and the competent DIY enthusiast installs the tank and pipe work themselves.

Will it help the new EPC.

A Solar installation of any kind is likely to help the EPC.

Can the look of panels be improved?

Yes. Many people consider flat “in roof” panels to be more aesthetically pleasing and these can be used in the place of evacuated tubes. However as they are less efficient,more of the roof would need to be covered to make the same contribution in the summer and they are substantially less productive during the winter.

Who runs The Small Solar Company?

Giles Hanford. Since leaving Hertfordshire University in 1989 Giles Hanford has been involved in the water engineering industry in the UK and abroad in a variety of roles. Over the last 15 years he has been involved with the design, development and installation of water related energy efficient devices. Giles installed his own Solar Water system in late 2006 and due to its success and many years of study in the renewable market; he formed The Small Solar company Ltd.

Is he qualified and accredited?

GH is a experienced BPEC accredited Installer and sits on the technical committee for the Solar Trade association.

Why should I choose The Small Solar Company?

We are a local company that only operate locally, we specialise in just one service: solar water heating. We charge a fair price for quality installations. We have low overheads due to small marketing budgets and not employing high commission sales staff.

Is the system insured how long is the guarantee?

The whole system is guaranteed for 2 years from commissioning with a free service / check after one week, three months and one and two  years included.
Certain components are guaranteed for longer e.g: the tubes for 10 to 20 years.

How long does it last ?

The system is expected to last in excess of 25 years.

What are the running costs?

The only running cost is the electricity to run the circulation pump, approximately £8-10 / year.

Is servicing required?

An annual service is recommended at a cost of £55* / year. (Free for the first 2 years).

I have a Combination boiler?

Solar can be made to be compatible with most combi boilers. Please contact us and we can show you exactly how..

Will I need to have a new boiler?

The boiler rarely needs changing but the cylinder often does.

Can my swimming pool be heated by a Solar system?

Solar heating is particularly effective for swimming pools and the pay back times are often even faster.

What if I have a flat roof?

The panels are not very heavy (typically 40 Kg) and can usually be installed safely on a flat roof.

How reliable is the system?

There is normally only one moving part (the pump which tends to be very reliable when pumping clean inhibited antifreeze/water mixture) so there is little to wear out or go wrong with a well installed system.

Are you insured?

We carry £2m public liability insurance.

Can you service or repair my Solar system?

We carry out solar servicing and repairs to all makes of panel and make sure they are running efficiently, clean / check / flush / re-pressurise with new inhibited solar anti-freeze.
Visit “The Solar Repair Service”

Is the chemical in the system dangerous?

The antifreeze solution in the system is a mixture of water and propylene glycol. In the unlikely event of a perforated coil and contamination of your hot water is not toxic.

Is VAT* Chargeable?

Yes, but only at 5% for installations. (20% for repairs).