An increasingly popular investment is in fitting solar panels for water heating. Not a new technology and one that is widely used on the continent. After insulation, the most likley to show an actual return on investment, certainly if you are on oil like me!
You will most likely have had a few letters from solar water heating companies through your door, perhaps from smartenergy, simple solar and a whole host of others. Beware! Unfortunately the industry has attracted the same people who 20 years ago were selling double glazing, 10 years ago it was timeshares and they have just moved out of selling dodgy finacial deals into solar panels! Call one of these guys and you are in for a few hours of sales patter, sign now and we will knock off 30% etc etc.. Its just that at £8,000 or £10,000 or £12,000 even with the extra special discount, its still a con!
A decent solar water heating system should cost no more than £4,000 and possibly less. It will only heat a proportion of your hot water, it will not heat the house. Mine, which I have had for about 4 years, allows me to switch off my boiler between May through till September. In late Autumn, Winter and eraly Spring there is minimal overall heat generated.