We are very fortunate to have just had a 10 panel solar array through the Manchester LADS Grant Scheme.
Not able to afford a battery, we also doubt if it’s likely to be cost effective for us anyway - re generation and usage versus battery life.
Our energy generation forecast is between 3200 kwhs and 3800 kwhs per year.
The crossroads we now find ourselves at is 'Where to next with heating and hot water? ’
Currently we have an A star rated combi boiler for heat and hot water.
We were refused a airsource heat pump because we don’t have wall insulation.We know from the design process that a heat pump would have attached nicely to our radiators, but of course we’d need a hot water tank installing.In the future we might be able to do some IWI and be more heat pump ready.
Now having the solar we want to harness as much of our generation as possible, knowing that sending it back to the grid won’t be cost effective and we’ll save more by using the energy ourselves.
Electric storage heaters are seeming like the answer and we’re thinking of installing three for now - lounge, kitchen and daughters bedroom where she studies too. The idea being to store the heat from the solar in the day and release this from about 4pm into the evening.
We’re not home so much during the day and we also have a multi fuel stove for extremely cold days. However we really want to avoid using this as well as any gas wherever possible, being very mindful of our carbon footprint.
Heating the person via jumpers and blankets will be our go to, as well as combatting heat loss from rooms…
Our main conundrum right now is about hot water.
An Eddi Diverter has been mentioned @Tim_Gilbert to divert the excess from the solar to heat the hot water in our tank - BUT we don’t have a tank!!
So these are our current questions and potentially the questions typical of many of us making the switch to electric heat and hot water.
1.Hot water tanks are a part of heat pumps too, so if we’re going to install a hot water tank, how do we ensure that down the line it will be compatible to a heat pump also?
What kind of electric heating is best coupled with the solar for energy efficiency and to offer us heat flexibility as well as being a good interim before a heat pump?
How much of the gas combi system should we remove and when?
(Our daughters room doesn’t have much wall space, so we will likely have to remove her current radiator to fit an electric one)…
Re hot water for washing - our shower is run off the gas combi - Do we change this to an electric shower or go with a hot water tank to be heated through the solar diverter.
Will a solar diverter be cost effective? Again wondering about the life span of these things…
Where are we best to learn about monitoring electricity consumption, generation and usage?
Overall, we don’t want to burn our bridges and waste money in removing any radiators or piping that might help us down the road and we certainly don’t want to install to have to remove either.
We also know that being able to do the maths around energy consumption, our usage and generation is a skill which will help us enormously.
In addition to all this, we’re really wanting to disconnect from gas and pave the way to energy sustainability and self reliance as much as possible.
Any feedback here is very much appreciated!