Julia Waterlow’s four-bedroom, early 19th century property, “Hollow House” in Lewes, East Sussex, features a 20m2 solar photovoltaic array, installed on her garage roof. The 2.43kWh system, which was installed by SolarUK in 2008, now produces 2410kWh a year, meaning her grid electricity bill only amounts to approximately £160 a year.

This system also benefits from the UK feed-in tariff, which pays out a fixed, guaranteed premium for every unit of renewable energy generated, with a bonus for surplus power exported to the grid.  This feed-in tariff is being introduced through the Government’s Clean Energy Cash Back scheme.

Julia’s property also benefits from a solar hot water system, supplied by SolarUK in 2004, with some of the installation costs covered by one of the grants available for these projects. 

The 2m2 panel provides almost all the household’s hot water needs during the summer months (May to September).  Nor does the system shut down during the winter: the advanced vacuum tubes of the LaZer2 system absorb energy even on cloudy days, and the temperature is topped up by the boiler which comes on in the evening. 

Overall, the system provides around 70% of the energy required for heating the water.