Edge protection is an important element of many solar hot water installations, where roof rails help to safeguard maintenance workers if they need to clean or repair the panels’ heat-collecting surfaces.
So, with the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme coming into effect from May 1st, it’s likely that some householders will be investing in guard rails for their roofs as they install solar hot water systems.
Feed-in tariffs for renewable energy installations have already helped to boost the number of solar photovoltaic systems in use, but the new scheme has a particular significance for solar hot water.
That is because solar heating systems are the only renewable technology for which grants can be awarded to homes with a mains gas supply.
Households not connected to the gas mains supply can also apply for funding for biomass boilers, ground- and-water-source heat pumps, and air-to-water-source heat pumps.
For those with a mains supply of gas, the limitation means solar hot water systems are likely to prove the most popular of the options covered by the scheme.
As with many of those who installed photovoltaic systems under feed-in tariffs, this means roof rails and other forms of edge protection are likely to face growing demand to ensure access is possible in the future without putting individuals at risk.