The Seniors, a family of four with two young children, wanted to reduce their reliance on external utilities and decided to do so by installing renewable energy sources. By installing solar photovoltaics and solar thermal systems, the Seniors were able to reduce their contribution to CO2 emissions.

These systems were installed by renewable energy specialists Eco Environments, who immediately took advantage of the family’s large south facing roof, which they were about to have maintained. Eco Environments measured the roof and found that it had the space to hold both a solar PV array, to generate electricity, and space for two solar thermal panels, to provide the family with hot water.

As MCS accredited installers Eco Environments can access the full range of government grants. The company was able to assist the Seniors in receiving a £2,500 grant towards the installation through the Low Carbon Buildings Programme- Phase 1. They were also able to connect them to a local charitable trust that offered a £1,000 interest free loan towards the cost of the solar thermal system.

The renewable energy company also installed an export meter, to show the family how much energy they were exporting when they were not using the electricity generated.

The solar PV array will generate over the course of a year in excess of 2,400kWh of electricity, which should provide up to two thirds of the household electricity needs.

The solar thermal panels are connected to a 300 litre cylinder, providing a majority of the family’s hot water needs for a large part of the year, as well as providing a good level of water for the remainder of the year when their boiler will make up the rest of the hot water required. This is an automatic system, the boiler will only run when additional hot water is required, and this is done automatically.

Mark Senior said, “It is great to have come from a conversation with friends about making our contribution to the environment, to producing our own ‘green’ energy.” He added, “The grant process was far easier than we expected, and Eco Environments talked us through each stage, and helped us get the best price for the electricity we will export. Overall their support and advice has been excellent, and we are delighted with the installation.”