Could you be a solar thermal installer?
With the RHI proving popular, we look at what it takes to become a solar thermal installer. As a starting point, you need to consider whether you’ve got a customer-base likely to be interested in this technology:
Solar Thermal customers
The main criteria for a Solar Thermal customer is having a south facing roof in a good enough condition to mount the panels – anything facing between south east and south west is fine (for some applications they can also be mounted at ground level). Shade on the panels at any time of day will reduce the performance.
Solar water heating is only suitable for properties that use hot water for bathing – electric showers won’t use the solar heated water, nor will washing machines or dishwashers. Solar panels are compatible with most existing hot water systems, the customer will just need a new cylinder to store the heated water.
Solar panels will not generate hot water all year round and therefore RHI repayments can be claimed in conjunction with biomass or heat pumps.
Solar Thermal installers
As Solar Thermal is not a total heating solution, most homes may be eligible for it, as long as there roof situation is suitable, making it a viable option for many installers. With some homes able to claim the RHI for Solar Thermal in conjunction with another technology, ideally, Solar Thermal installers should consider offering one or more of the additional heat-based renewables, depending on their customer base.
Solar Thermal Training pre-requisites:
- Level 2 or Level 3 NVQ or SVQ in plumbing/heating & ventilation/gas/oil – Installation and Maintenance qualification or,
- A valid Core Gas Safety (CCN1) certificate or,
- An OFTEC Oil certificate or,
- A valid HETAS certificate
Candidates must also hold all of the following qualifications (if they are not held as part of an NVQ):