When Stroud District Council discovered that more than half of the electricity generated by its social housings’ solar installations was being fed back into the grid, it began to explore ways in which it could help residents benefit from the unused electricity.

The council decided on installing 500 SOLiC 200 units from Earthwise Products Ltd. The smart controllers monitor the energy being fed back into the grid and divert any viable excess power to the immersion heater circuit.

Stroud District Council hopes that the system will help reduce annual fuel bills for residents who will be able to benefit from use of the solar PV-heated water.

Gary Salter, project manager at Stroud District Council, commented: “Having invested in PV systems to help reduce fuel poverty, it became apparent that the average house only uses around 40% of the energy that the PV system produces, and that the majority of solar energy was going back to the grid. In order to minimise this amount, we started looking at ways in which our residents can use all the electricity being produced by the PV system.”

Iain McRitchie, managing director of Earthwise Products Ltd, concluded: “Renewables have proven themselves to be a justified investment for housing associations. Reducing fuel poverty is a contributory factor in improving the standard of living for tenants in the climate of rising annual fuel bills. The SOLiC 200 helps minimise fuel bills by providing residents with free hot water.”