1. Site Surveys Free
We carry out free site surveys to be able to give advice based on your specific circumstances:
Taking into account:
- Your lifestyle
- Current energy bills
Established in 2005 as Solar Solutions NI, Graham saw an opportunity to help local people move away from the unpredictability of oil and gas prices, allowing us all to do our bit for the environment in the process.
And the story continues...
Whilst installing over 1500 solar panels all across Ireland – North and South – he developed a passion for green energy, seeing the real difference a system can make to any home. Over four years he researched many different renewable energy systems as his interest grew, testing several in the homes of friends and family and making practical decisions on which are the best for our climate.
With Jenny on board, we offer a personal service where the needs of each home are considered on an individual basis. You can rely on good, honest advice which is tailored to your lifestyle and budget. We specialise in solar water heating and solar electric systems, using the power of the sun to make a real difference to your energy bills.
With us, you can rest assured that we don’t want to sell products for the sake of a sale. We want to install realistic, cost-effective technologies which fit into your lifestyle, and make a real contribution to your home.
We carry out free site surveys to be able to give advice based on your specific circumstances:
Taking into account:
In August 2009, we were one of the first in the country to be approved by Action Renewables under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme for Solar Water Heating, then in April 2010 for Solar PV.
Not only have we installed thousands of solar panels, we have also had to undergo rigorous audits on our installations and customer service procedures to achieve this accreditation, so you can be confident in the services and workmanship we offer.
Graham also holds a BPEC Certificate in Solar Domestic Hot Water Heating and is a trained and registered solar installer with Action Renewables. Our electrician, Harry, is fully qualified in PV installations and electrical testing. Copies of certificates are available on request so you can be sure that your system will be designed and installed safely and correctly.
We are committed to offering an excellent service to our existing customers following their installations, including:
How would you like to produce hot water 365 days a year, come rain, hail or shine, in a very efficient and low cost way?
Using the ENERGIE system, which makes use of the principle of thermodynamics, you can do just that.
ENERGIE thermodynamic solar panels are able to collect not only the heat and light of the sun, but also the energy released by the wind and rain, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Our system is different to ‘traditional’ solar water heating systems in that it does not require a back up to heat your water throughout the winter months.
Inside the black panel, an environmentally friendly refrigerant with a boiling temperature of -25°C circulates through the small channels. The panel easily absorbs ambient air temperature and passes the heated refrigerant through the compressor. Here, the refrigerant is compressed, thus dramatically increasing its pressure and temperature. This heat is then transferred to the water in your cylinder via a heat exchanger at the bottom of the tank.
To complete the process, the fluid is passed through an accumulator tank and expansion valve where it is returned to its original state, ready to start the cycle again.
The ENERGIE system works in all weather conditions: sun, rain, wind, hail and even snow. There is no need for an auxiliary heating method to be used in duller weather conditions, you can expect water at 55°C all throughout the year. Perfect for our unpredictable Northern Irish weather!
There is no scheduled maintenance required for the system.
The system uses very little electricity to produce large quantities of hot water. The gas used is safe, with no CFCs emitted, and since there is no combustion, there are no CO2 emissions and no smells of any kind.
ENERGIE panels when situated on the roof of your house are very discreet, sitting close to the roof and being black in colour. The panel is 2m in length, 0.8m in width, has a thickness of only 2cm and weighs only 8kg.
No – a standard installation will consume 390W of electricity (used by the compressor). Costs depend entirely on water usage and electricity tariff, but basic calculations show costs of around 20-30p per day. The compressor uses electricity only when there is a demand for heat.
Under normal circumstances, a standard installation will take no longer than one day.
An ecological fluid called R-134A.
Yes, R-134A does not contain ammonia or chlorine and is considered ecological, as it is non-toxic, non-combustible, non-corrosive, and chemically stable under high pressure and high temperature.
Yes, in accordance with current legislation the unit comes with a circuit to raise the temperature up to 70°C. This is manually activated and automatically disconnected.
No, the ENERGIE solar thermodynamic panel must be used in conjunction with a very specific type of hot water cylinder, provided and installed as a full system.
Stainless Steel cylinder – 3 years
Steel Enameled cylinder – 2 years
Compressor – 2 years
Panel – 5 years
No. See Solar PV systems for panels which produce electricity.
There are central heating options available, best used in a very well insulated new-build, and using 4 or more panels, depending on the size of the house. Prices vary depending on the size of the system, but start around £10,000.
Solar panels, either flat plates or tubes, are fitted to your roof and it is these ‘collectors’ which collect light from the sun’s rays, using this abundant energy to heat your water. Don’t be fooled by the common misconception that it has to be sunny to produce hot water – the collectors use sunLIGHT not heat and this is what makes them an excellent option, even in Northern Ireland.
The heat generated in the collector is transferred to the water in your cylinder and then used for bathing, showering, hand washing and dishwashing. In the winter months when the days are shorter and the sun is lower in the sky, your solar panel will reduce your water heating bills by pre-heating the water so your oil or gas does not have to work as hard to heat the water up to full temperature. Between April and September (depending on weather conditions), your solar panel ought to provide enough heat to keep your boiler off altogether!
There are two types of traditional solar water heating panel on the market; flat plates and evacuated tubes. Unlike other companies, we are not tied to any one manufacturer and so we are able to provide you with the design, make and model of solar collector which most suits your needs. We can offer completely impartial advice, ensuring that your requirements are the only deciding factor.
Maintenance is usually required every 2-4 years for most traditional solar water heating systems. Costs will vary depending on geographical location and system design.
Solar works all year round – and even in Winter it will pre-heat your hot water, helping to reduce your oil or gas usage. Because vacuum tubes absorb energy efficiently in all different weathers conditions, the effects are seen all year round.
Ideally to a south facing roof or slight deviations of about 15 – 30° from that. Slight deviations are not a problem and will only minimally affect the solar yield.
Savings of up to 50 – 70% can be seen annually on the heating cost for your hot water. Over time, your savings will increase as the price of oil / gas / electricity and other fossil fuels rise in the future.
Solar also reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, thereby helping to protect the environment from pollution. CO2 is one of the largest single contributors towards global warming.
Normally only if the property is in a conservation area or is a listed building, but you should check with your local planning office. Our panels are environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing. You are required to submit a Building Control Notice, but this should cost no more than £60 and Green Energy Store can help you with the necessary forms.
Thermomax collectors are light and modular and can usually be installed by a Green Energy Store in just a day, with minimal disruption to the home.
No collector maintenance is required. The glass tubes are round and perfectly smooth; any dirt or dust is carried away by the wind and/or rain. We recommend a service of the full system every 2 to 3 years. This ensures that the system is running at its optimum potential. Contact us for costs.
The term ‘photovoltaic’ literally means ‘light’ and ‘electric’; converting solar radiation into electricity using panels mounted on your roof. The electricity produced by the panels is used in your home, saving you money by reducing your electricity bill. You will also receive money for each unit of electricity which is produced by your PV system, whether it is used on site or not.
Photons in sunlight hit the solar panel and are absorbed by semiconducting materials, such as silicon. Electrons (negatively charged) are knocked loose from their atoms, allowing them to flow through the material to produce electricity. Due to the special composition of solar cells, the electrons are only allowed to move in a single direction. An array of solar cells converts solar energy into direct current (DC) electricity. The specialist inverter which is supplied with your Green Energy Store Solar PV system then converts DC power into AC power – the stuff needed to drive your lights and appliances. When your system produces more electricity than your house is using, it will automatically feed any excess into the grid. If you are using more energy than your PV system is generating, electricity will be imported from the grid. All this happens without disruption to your electricity supply.
Our grid connected systems start from around 1kW peak power, this occupies about 6.5 square metres on your roof. The maximum domestic system is 4.0kWp, which takes up around 26 square metres.
As a general rule of thumb, for every kW peak power installed on a South facing roof the system will generate around 800 kWh. This reduces by around 20% for an East or West facing roof. The pitch of the roof also has an impact, as will any potential shading from trees or taller structures. Green Energy Store can give you an accurate performance estimate following a site survey.
Installed prices start from around £1000 per kW peak power. Prices are changing all the time, so please contact us to arrange a site survey to determine what price your system will be.
Green Energy Store will sort out the paperwork to register your system to sell excess power back to the grid. At present, customers are offered a “deemed” rate of 45% export at around 5p per unit. This means that even if you use all the power generated by your system, you will still earn 5p on 45% of the total number of units generated over the course of the year.
Our roof mounted systems do not need planning permission unless the property is listed or in a conservation area. You are required to submit a Building Control Notice to your local council, usually at a cost of £120 and Green Energy Store can help with the required forms. Be wary of any installer who advises you not to contact Building Control.
Most roofs are strong enough to take a solar installation without any reinforcement. Green Energy Store’s qualified Structural Engineer will produce a fully comprehensive Structural Report to confirm this.
Green Energy Store will handle all paperwork requirements and will liaise with Action Renewables and NIE on your behalf.
Payback is different for each system, and will depend on pitch, orientation, over-shading, and panel/inverter choice, but typically you will be in profit within 7+ years.
Yes, all unused electricity will automatically be exported. NIE will fit an import/export meter (at no charge) to keep track of how much energy you are bringing in and sending back.
For the safety of electrical workmen no standard PV systems operate during power cuts.
Panels generally have a product guarantee of 10-12 years, and an output guarantee of between 20 and 25 years depending on manufacturer. Inverters normally have a guarantee of 5 years. Green Energy Store offers a two-year labour warranty, which is backed by an independent insurer.
Our experienced and professional installation team usually take no longer than one day to fit your full solar PV system.
“The Bridge Business Centre comprises two office blocks totalling over 18,000 sq ft. and as landlords we are always seeking ways to reduce our energy consumption. As part of a Carbon Trust audit and recommendation we decided to install Photovoltaic systems on both buildings to help meet our considerable electricity usage. Green Energy Store (GES) were selected based on reference sites and price, and a 10 kWp system was installed on each building in April 2011. The systems proved so successful we decided to have GES install a further 10 kWp on the main building in January 2012.”
All solar PV quotes from Green Energy Store are accompanied by an estimate of annual energy yield, i.e. what you can expect your solar panels to produce over the course of a year. In the case of these buildings, the estimate for the first 10 kWp was a yield of 8,327 kWh per annum. After one full year of production, the owners are delighted to have produced a total of 8,724 kWh – a 5% increase on expectations. If this installation were in Northern Ireland, this would represent a ROCs payments of around £1,500 in just a year, plus export payments of 6.39p for every unit of electricity which is produced but not used on site. Don’t forget the savings seen on electricity bills, which would equate to just over £1000 if the commercial rate is 12p per unit. As electricity rates rise, the payback period only gets shorter, and the investment becomes even more lucrative.
“We are now generating most of our own electricity with the considerable savings that brings and are understandably delighted with the installation and have no hesitation in recommending the GES for similar projects.”
Mr Kay had his ENERGIE Eco 250 esm installed in August 2011. His 250-litre steel enamelled hot water cylinder is fitted vented in the hot press, with the sleek black panel on the south-facing roof of the house directly on top of the tiled roof.
Mr Kay was initially concerned that the system would not run as efficiently as described, and would it really be able to heat water 24 hours a day, even at night?! He received honest and appropriate advice from Green Energy Store, backed up by discussions with previous customers and felt fully reassured and ready to proceed with the installation, “From day one of our investigations, we were treated with extreme honesty and professionalism by Green Energy Store. We would – and have – recommended this system and Green Energy Store to all. We find it really hard to believe that this system is not standard fitment to all new and existing properties!”
The client was impressed by the simple and straightforward installation by Green Energy Store professionals. Mr Kay could not be happier with the practicalities of running the Energie system: “Our oil consumption is approximately 50% more efficient, as the boiler has no domestic hot water to heat. Hence with the boiler just heating the radiators form absolute cold, it now takes around 15 minutes to fully heat all radiators. Superb!”
Mr McA and his wife have been enjoying free hot water from their Kingspan Solar Thermomax HP250system since March 2010. The 200-litre hot water cylinder is situated in the hot press, while the 20-tube collector is ideally placed on the south-facing roof of the house, where it catches the most sunlight throughout the day.
Mr McA reports, “I always have constant hot water, and have not used the immersion heater nor had to increase usage of oil fired boiler to get hot water since the solar panel and new tank were installed.” His oil usage has certainly decreased, which has protected him somewhat against the increase in oil price from 43p per litre in 2010 to 56p per litre in 2012. “We like the constant hot water even when central heating is turned off, and the larger volume of hot water available, as family frequently visit and stay over – we are never short of hot water. Another attraction was that the whole system was installed in one day with minimum disruption to other domestic activities.”
We have found Green Energy Store most efficient and responsive to the few minor queries experienced with the solar panel system. It runs virtually maintenance-free, but Green Energy Store is always at hand by phone or email. We would certainly recommend the Green Energy Store team to anyone contemplating fitting a solar panel installation.”