Friday, October 06, 2006

Have you considered a solar water heater?

This is a terrific article about solar water heaters. Obviously a water heater is a big purchase, but besides being much better for the environment, the monthly cost savings start adding up-- 50% to 80% off your bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's estimates. You're also eligible for a federal tax credit of 30% of the system's cost (up to $2,000), at least through the end of 2007, and you may be eligible for one of these state-level incentives, too.

The article profiles homeowners in Seattle-- I assume in order to reassure the rest of us that no matter how little sun you get, a solar water heater can still work! They mention the effect on the environment and the savings on their energy bills. " 'Plus, the water heater increased the value of the house,' Bob adds. 'And it's a hedge against future energy cost increases.' " They also point out that it's a simpler and cheaper step than a full conversion to solar energy using photovoltaic cells.

The article goes into a lot of technical detail about types of systems, and if you're interested in that you should just go ahead and read it. It also says that the heaters cost around $2,000-$6,000. I'm not a homeowner and I've never priced out conventional water heaters, so I don't know how that compares; clue me in?

(By the way, if you are interested in seeing solar technology in action in your area, tomorrow (October 7th) is the National Tour of Solar Homes Day all across the country. Check out this link to find a tour near you-- and some of them occur after the 7th, in case you've missed it, so it can't hurt to check.)

So, what do you think? Have you looked into solar water heaters in the past, and decided for or against one? Would you consider one in the future?

3 comments:

GolbGuru said...

I am glad you are talking about solar energy. As an earth-friendly engineer, sometimes I feel almost obligated to buy everything that is "solar" "hybrid" "green"... :) You just added another solar thing to my list.

FIRE Finance said...

This is a great post. We are solar energy appliance fans and shall implement as many of them as possible in our home. Thanks a lot for this post.
Cheers,
FIRE Finance

debt said...

They also have hot water on demand type of water heaters. They only light up when in actual use and are dormant when not.