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Solar Thermal Panels

Solar Thermal

This technology is used to heat water using energy collected from the sun. Therefore it is completely different from Solar PV, which generates electricity. Even a small installation will save you a significant amount on water heating.

Certainly, this is especially true if you have a large amount of roof space or land.

What sizes do you install?

IU Energy has extensive experience with commercial Solar Thermal. As an illustration, we recently completed a 77kW, ground-mount project. 

Renewable Heat Incentive for 20 years

Another key point is that this technology qualifies for the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. This is currently for 20 years. In other words, for the duration, you’re paid RHI income.

That’s of course in addition to reduced fuel bills and reduced Climate Change Levy (CCL).

Isn’t the UK climate too cold?

On the contrary, Solar collectors just need light to work. Whilst bright sunlight is obviously ideal, they still heat water even on cloudy days.

Nevertheless, a backup boiler or immersion heater is necessary. To explain, this is to supply an extra boost to your hot water generation during winter.

Usually, Solar Thermal will meet up to 100% of your hot water needs during summer. For this reason, the backup heating system stays unused in this period. In fact, over a year, Solar Thermal will meet in the region of 50% to 60% of your needs.

Nowadays maximum hot water temperatures are achievable even at low outdoor temperatures.  This is chiefly due to the low levels of heat loss from highly efficient vacuum tubes.

Further information

You can download a Solar Thermal Technology Information Sheet here

Below are case studies for projects we have conducted in Solar Thermal, followed by FAQs.


It depends on whether your business uses lots of electricity, or lots of hot water. Solar Thermal is great for hot water.

Yes, and it is applicable for twenty years, so you’ll get twenty years of passive income.

In spring/autumn time evacuated tubes tend to provide a higher energy yield than flat plate systems, however in the summer a correctly sized flat plate system will provide up to 100% of your hot water demand.

Evacuated tubes generally require slightly less roof space to yield the same amount of energy.

Flat plate systems have the benefit of being able to be fully integrated into the roof line, which has a better appearance and also saves money on other roofing materials. Flat plate systems also benefit from lower initial costs and lower maintenance requirements.

Solar thermal systems only require daylight to operate; this means they will still heat water on cloudy days. Whilst most solar energy is generated in the summer months, a solar thermal system will still contribute towards hot water requirements in Spring, Autumn and Winter, providing up to 60% of the annual hot water requirements of a business.

For optimum performance, a South facing roof is ideal for a solar thermal system. However anything between South East and South West also performs well and could generate heat for up to 60% of your annual hot water requirements.

Generally, no. Solar thermal installations fall under permitted development. However, if your property is a listed building or in a conservation area you may need planning permission.

Solar thermal systems can provide for up to 60% of the annual hot water requirements for a building. As we need heat in the winter when solar radiation is at a minimum, solar thermal systems are not suitable to provide a property’s heating requirements alone, however they are ideal when integrated as a pre-heat system for an air source heat pump or ground source heat pump system, which will provide for all the heating and hot water requirements of the property.

Six years on average, although we have many clients who achieved 4.

We’ve been around for seventeen years and are one of the oldest UK energy companies still in business. However, you also have the benefit of Tier 1 manufacturers’ warranties and insurance backed warranties.

How much energy is your business currently wasting?

IU Energy is a multi-award-winning business, providing comprehensive energy management services to its B2B clients, including energy reduction solutions, renewables and independent energy procurement.


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