I read with interest your article “What’s new under the sun” (6 October, page 22) having carried out a similar limited pilot survey last winter for Circle Anglia Housing Association, in which we compared four houses fitted with panels and four of similar house types without panels, including lifestyle adjustments.
I concluded that the capital cost would be better spent on additional insulation to windows, such as triple-glazing, and on improving walls.
Solar panels can create a housing management problem if the resident is unaware what to do if the tubes in the panel overheat on a hot day and evaporate. Tenants move on and each change of residency requires somebody to show the new resident how to use the system.
The ultimate aim should be to eliminate the need for gas boilers, for which the annual service costs alone can mount up on a few thousand dwellings.
However, I do wish Viridian Solar the best with their endeavours as it is only through the housing associations pushing forward that development comes about.
Richard Searle, Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire