Excess PV energy should be used to heat DHW

A report published by the Hot Water Association (HWA) reveals how homeowners can save up to £240 a year by using excess solar energy to heat their household hot water, turning the cylinder into a ‘thermal battery’.

The report, The Thermal Battery, explores the synergies between hot water cylinders and solar PV, and the potential to store the energy generated from PV systems locally, using hot water storage as the mechanism. This could make use of the excess electricity and maximise consumer investment.

HHIC says the energy produced by the consumer is more valuable than the payback they receive. Given that 40% of homes in the UK already have a hot water cylinder, solar PV offers real potential for significant cost savings.

Isaac Occhipinti, Head of External Affairs at HWA, comments:

HWA statistics show that homeowners could save between £90 and £240 per annum and meet around 50% of their hot water energy requirements if they were to divert their excess solar energy using the products currently on the market which homeowners can connect to their immersion heater.

“There are over 900,000 homes in the UK with solar PV installed. But while these consumers should be delighted with the energy they are generating and the associated savings, research has found that the vast majority of these people are actually dissatisfied because, as they are out at work when the energy is being generated, they cannot consume all of the surplus energy and therefore do not see the true benefits.

“Diverting this energy to a hot water cylinder, which may ordinarily be fuelled by a boiler, will save significantly on gas bills. Further, projected increases to electric demand, especially with presumed levels of electric vehicle deployment (which is estimated to add at least 10% to UK power demand), will place a strain on the grid. BY 2050, EV electricity demand could rise to 40 – 45 terawatt hours (TWh) per year. Allowing households with solar PV to opt to sell their excess electricity to the grid or store it for when needed will reduce pressure on the grid, whilst saving consumers money.”

Read the The Thermal Battery, click here.


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