Home Improvements - Solar Power

For swimming pools and Jacuzzis, solar panels can greatly extend the swimming season. © Michelle Chaplow
For swimming pools and Jacuzzis, solar panels can greatly extend the swimming season.
For swimming pools and Jacuzzis, solar panels can greatly extend the swimming season.

Green Gold for Andalucia

With so many thousands of hours of sun per year, southern Spain is the ideal place to install solar energy panels. What's more, thanks to new government programmes that oblige the electricity company to buy any surplus energy you generate, this can be an ideal option for some.

Privately generated solar energy is generally used to supplement conventional electricity supply to your home and thus take the strain off the energy bill. Most often it is used to heat water for household use and also for swimming pools. In the case of swimming pools, solar panels can greatly extend the swimming season, allowing you to open the pool in about April and possibly keep it open well into November.

It is also possible to use solar power for central heating systems either underfloor or for radiators. Over time this will produce significant savings in your heating bill.

Solar panels represent an investment that will cost you more now but pay off in the long run. And perhaps even more importantly, they represent an investment in the environment both locally and globally.

Recent legislation demands that every newly constructed building must be designed for a solar-heating system to be installed, providing between 30 and 70 percent of their hot water.

If electricity is generated from domestic photovoltaic panels any surplus electricity generated may be sold to the network. The electricity supply company must buy this electricity by law.

In addition, a new energy efficiency certificate measures consumption and emissions of houses, with a rating from A to E depending on their lighting, heating, cooling and solar energy.

Other measures in the new building code enforce the use of better insulation, improve the efficiency of heating and cooling systems and increase the use of natural light.

The new standards will bring energy savings of 30 to 40 percent for each building and a reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from energy consumption of 40 to 55 percent, according to the government.

Photovoltaic Panels Solar Panels
Non residential buildings such as shopping centres and hospitals must have photovoltaic panels
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New technology means that anyone can have solar panels on their roof to heat their water
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