Pitching for Solar

Bringing solar water heating to camping and caravanning sites in the South West

Project duration: October 2003 to June 2005

The aim of Pitching for Solar was to install solar water heating systems in selected camping and caravanning sites in the South West. The scheme offered a grant of up to £2000 to support the cost of the systems, with a chosen installer carrying out site visits and also providing advice on energy efficiency measures and the potential for other forms of renewable energy.

CSE targetted these sites for the following reasons:

  • there is a good match between the solar resource and a high demand for hot water in the summer months
  • due to the high number of visitors to these sites, particularly children, there is a strong demonstration and educational potential for raising awareness about renewable energy
  • most of these sites are not on mains gas, which improves the economics of systems

The project started in 2003. There was a mail-out to all of the camping and caravanning sites in the South West region and visits were made to the interested sites. As an additional incentive, CSE offered a grant of up to £2000 each to support the capital costs of the first twelve systems.

Once the number of sites that wanted to proceed with the purchase of systems was known, CSE issued a tender to the solar hot water industry and negotiated a bulk purchase discount on behalf of members of the Pitching for Solar scheme.

Following the tender process, a contractor was selected to conduct site suitability surveys. Quotes were delivered to the sites deemed appropriate for solar hot water and, once these quotes were accepted, installations began.

All twelve installations were completed in 2004, adding approximately 43kW of renewable heat energy installed capacity to the South West. Approximate carbon dioxide savings are expected to be 10 tonnes per annum and annual fuel savings for the 12 sites are expected to be approximately £1850.

Information boards were produced for all twelve sites.

Pitching for Solar project was shortlisted for a prestigious Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy in 2005.

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