GMC Building Contractors | 1 Longstone Court | Ramparts Business Park | Berwick-upon-Tweed | TD15 1FA | Tel: 01289 304409 | Email:

Solar Thermal (hot water)

GMC have decided to withdraw from the Solar Thermal market. 

However our friends at Premier Plumbing & Heating are registered with MCS to install. – why not contact them here

Solar Thermal water heating

solar Thermal

Solar Thermal system

Heat water for your home using energy from the sun.

Solar water heating systems use free heat from the sun to warm domestic hot water. A conventional boiler or immersion heater can be used to make the water hotter, or to provide hot water when solar energy is unavailable.

GMC are registered contractors for Kingspan Solar. This entitles the owner of each kingspan system we install to a double warranty! 5 -10 years on flat plate and 10 – 20 years on evacuated tubes!

The benefits of solar water heating

  • Hot water throughout the year: the system works all year round, though you’ll need to heat the water further with a boiler or immersion heater during the winter months.
  • Cut your bills: sunlight is free, so once you’ve paid for the initial installation your hot water costs will be reduced.
  • Cut your carbon footprint: solar hot water is a green, renewable heating system and can reduce your carbon dioxide emissions.

How do solar water heating systems work?

Solar water heating systems use solar panels, called collectors, fitted to your roof. These collect heat from the sun and use it to heat up water which is stored in a hot water cylinder. A boiler or immersion heater can be used as a back up to heat the water further to reach the temperature you want.

There are two types of solar water heating panels:

  • evacuated tubes (as in the picture above)
  • flat plate collectors, which can be fixed on the roof tiles or integrated into the roof.

Costs, savings and earnings

The cost of installing a typical solar water heating system is around £3,000 to £5,000 (including VAT at 5%). Savings are moderate – the system could provide most of your hot water in the summer, but much less during colder weather.


Maintenance costs for solar water heating systems are generally very low. Most solar water heating systems come with a five-year or ten-year warranty and require little maintenance. Once fitted we leave written details of any maintenance checks that you can carry out from time to time, ensuring everything is working properly.

GMC install a range of different manufactures products. We are registered installers for Kingspan, this provides the system owner with an extended warranty for choosing an accredited installer to fit their equipment. On evacuated tube systems the warranty is extended from 10 to 20 years.


Solar water heating systems can achieve savings on your energy bills.  Based on the results of our recent field trial, typical savings from a well-installed and properly used system are £60 per year when replacing gas heating and £70 per year when replacing electric immersion heating; however, savings will vary from user to user.

Existing system Savings per year Carbon dioxide savings per year
Gas £60 275kg
Oil £90 350kg
Coal £80 610kg
Electricity £70 490kg
LPG £130 325kg


Earnings – RHI – as of 2016 RHI support is under review. 

GMC are registered MCS (micro generation certification scheme) installers for solar thermal systems. This means we install equipment that qualifies for RHI (renewable heat incentive).

This incentive is run on behalf of the government by ofgem, which once the system is commissioned your GMC project manager helps you fill in the forms and register you system for payment.

The amount you get paid depends on how big the solar array is, the size of the tank & the number of people living in the home with average earnings of around £100.00 per quarter.

This payment is paid straight into your account for 7 years. Providing the owner with a profit after installation cost and reduction in utility bills.

For impartial advice on the RHI please visit the Energy saving trust web-site for more information (click here)

Is solar water heating right for your home?

solar thermal

Solar Thermal

Do you have a sunny place to put solar panels?

You’ll need around five square metres of roof space which faces east to west through south and receives direct sunlight for the main part of the day.

The panels don’t have to be mounted on a roof: they can be fixed to a frame on a flat roof or hanging from a wall.

Do you have space for a larger, or an extra, hot water cylinder?

If a dedicated solar cylinder is not already installed then you will usually need to replace the existing cylinder, or add a dedicated cylinder with a solar heating coil.

Is your current boiler compatible with solar water heating?

Most conventional boiler and hot water cylinder systems are compatible with solar water heating. But if your boiler is a combination boiler (combi) and you don’t currently have a hot water tank, a solar hot water system may not be compatible.

GMC are Kingspan Solar Accredited Installers offering further assurance with your solar system and double warranty on standard kingspan warranty!

Check more information on kingspan Solar products and RHI here

GMC kingspan solar installer

GMC kingspan solar installer

Call GMC for a free survey and quote, then start saving & making money!