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Today's energy saving tip ...

Remember to turn gadgets and appliances off at the plug after use rather than leaving them on standby.

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DIY solar energy systems ...

There is no magic involved in solar power. The technology is easy to understand and some solar water heaters can be surprisingly simple, comprising mainly of panels, pumps and pipes.

If you have the time and building/plumbing skills, you can buy and install a DIY solar energy system for your home. You will save around £1,000 with a DIY system but won't be eligible for a grant as all current schemes require professional installation to qualify.

Solar hot water systems usually come with a 10 year warranty and the only maintenance required is an annual check by the householder with a more thorough inspection by a professional installer every 3-5 years.

How much does a DIY solar power system cost?

DIY systems are a cheaper way to start using solar power in your home and range from £1500 to £2500+ depending upon the features and options included. Again, you will need some experience of DIY and plumbing to successfully install a solar energy system in your home.

Is your property suitable for solar power?

For most effective use, you will need 2-4 square meters of southeast to southwest facing roof that receives direct sunlight for most of the day.

The majority of solar energy systems do not normally require planning permission. If fact, it is more likely that most small scale energy generation projects will be removed from the planning process and become 'permitted developments'. However it is always best to check with your local planning office before purchase and installation to avoid any misunderstanding.

Other types of DIY solar energy products

DIY solar systems are not limited to full home energy supply but also include a wide variety of self build/install products that can be used around the home, garden and more. For example, there are numerous low cost solar panel systems that use natural light to power TV's, computers and lights that are ideal for sheds, caravans, boats or anywhere that normal electricity is not available.

DIY solar power system suppliers

If you are considering a full solar energy installation for your home, you should thoroughly research the technology and market to ensure you choose the right system and supplier for your needs and energy usage.

Please visit our solar energy suppliers page for a comprehensive list of solar power products and providers.

Energy Saving Tip: Stop any heat escaping from your hot water pipes by covering them in pipe insulation.