Secon Homeowner Information
Secon is one of the UKs largest specialist renewables distributors.
Although we only sell to installers and we do not install, with our technical expertise we are able to explain the features and benefits of different technologies and give unbiased advice to homeowners on any size of project. With our national customer base we can also help you find a suitably qualified local installer.
Secon was originally a solar thermal supplier so this has always been at the core of our business but we now supply heat pumps, biomass and PV.
Please note that although we are happy to give advice over the phone, we do not do site visits nor do we accept any responsibility for system design, that is for the installer to finalise.
Solar Thermal is the simplest and most natural form of renewable energy. Once the system is installed it will generate hot water for years to come. Secon has supplied some of the largest solar thermal projects in the country so we can produce a package designed for any situation.
A government backed incentive, The RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) is available for solar thermal systems and it can offer a quarterly payment for 7 years to help offset some of the system installation costs, some uses of solar thermal are excluded from RHI, especially if they’re connected to your heating system or a swimming pool.
There are two types of solar thermal collectors, either flat plate which can be mounted above your tiles/slates or integrated into the roof, or evacuated glass tubes which offer better performance, and certain types can be used in areas where planning issues may arise. There are pros and cons with both types which we can guide you through. Solar thermal systems need to be matched closely with hot water requirements as once the sun comes out the system will continue to get hot until the sun goes in again so system design is very important.
Solar thermal comes in to its own when lots of free hot water is needed so it is the perfect solution for heating swimming pools, guest houses, campsites etc. Let us help you work out what you need.
Secon supply solar thermal kits from ranging from one panel up to large swimming pool systems. If your installer buys through us you can be confident that everything you need will arrive as a complete kit.
Heat pumps act like a fridge in reverse, cooling down the outside air and pumping the recovered heat in to your property.
The two main types of heat pump are air source or ground source. Air source is the cheapest to install but ground source is more efficient and cheaper to run. RHI is available for both but RHI for ground source is more generous in order to compensate for higher installation costs. Your decision will be dictated by your budget and type of property.
Although heat pumps will increase your electricity consumption they could produce between 3 or 4 times more heat than they consume (COP). The COP (Coefficient of Performance) is a bit like car fuel economy figures. The actual figure achieved will vary depending upon system design, operating temperature and ambient air temperature.
As heat pumps produce lower temperature hot water than a traditional boiler it is very important that the heat pump is sized correctly and they may not be suitable for older (poorly insulated) or high heat demand properties. If you are retro fitting a heat pump you may also need to think about changing heat emitters (larger radiators) or switching to underfloor heating.
Secon can help guide you through all these options if you are thinking of installing a heat pump.
Photo Voltaic (PV)
PV systems produce electricity for domestic consumption any unused power is fed back to the grid. Up until recently, PV was financially very attractive due to high incentives but these have now been substantially reduced. However PV is still a very simple, low maintenance way of adding renewables to a project.
For a new build, PV can be built in to the roof meaning that in some cases, the cost of adding panels is negligible because they are cheaper than the tiles or slates that would have been fitted.
With the continuing development of battery storage solutions to allow power created during the day to be used at night, PV is tipped to become even more popular in future both for domestic uses and car charging.
Secon can supply your installer a full kit delivered to site.
Biomass options cover log burning, pellets and wood chip. The range of boilers and stoves available is absolutely enormous and they all have different advantages but for domestic customers and for ease of use, pellet is the most popular type.
Pellet boilers are available as external or internal versions, some with just day hoppers, side mounted hoppers or silos for bulk storage.
The storage of pellets needs to be considered as they can take up a considerable amount of space due to the fact that keeping the cost of the fuel to a minimum usually requires deliveries of 1000kg at a time on a pallet, and they must be kept dry at all times during storage. The handling of pellets, either manually or with a vacuum or auger feed adds another level of complexity.
Any customer going down the biomass route also needs to think about maintenance, as even the best pellet boilers require a very regular maintenance schedule, much more than most homeowners are used to.
Due to the popularity of biomass, RHI rates have been cut every quarter for the last couple of years, therefore it’s financially not the most attractive option but for properties with high heat demand, sometimes biomass is the only practical renewable heat option.
UFH (Under Floor Heating)
Secon can now help size and design whole or part house heating packages including underfloor and radiator packages. If your installer has plans for your property we can design and provide CAD layout plans for underfloor systems which are the perfect addition to your air source heat pump package.