Is A Solar Hot Water System A Good Fit for You? 0

So you’re interested in solar hot water? We’re happy to hear it.Solar water heating is an effective way to lower your utility bill. And, compared to solar electric — or photovoltaic (PV) — systems, solarwater heaters are typically less expensive. (For more info on thedifferences between these technologies, see our post Solar Hot Water vs. Solar PV.)

If you’re trying to determine whether your property is a good candidate for a solar hot water system, consider the following.

All else equal, consumers who use a lot of hot water — and thereforespend a good chunk of their electricity or gas bill on water heating —stand to gain the most by installing a solar hot water system. If people are taking hot showers, washing clothes, or using a high volume ofheated water for any other purpose, solar hot water is a great option.Top candidates include:

  • Hotels
  • Swimming pools
  • Laundromats
  • Communal living areas, like military camps and bases
  • Correctional facilities
  • Any residential building– single family or larger

Since commercial candidates are likely to have the largest hot waterdemands, they stand to benefit most quickly. A huge percentage of alaundromat’s operating costs probably come from hot water, so meeting aportion of that demand via the sun’s thermal energy can providesubstantial savings. Homeowners can benefit significantly, too, and inmany states – like Hawaii, Arizona, and California — can take advantageof solar incentives to help them install solar hot water systems. (Moreon these programs to come.)

So, as review: if you’re spending a lot of money heating water — orexpect your hot water demand to increase in the future — you may want to consider a solar water heater. If your hot water demand is modest andyour electricity bill is high, however — say, because you’re paying ahigh per-kilowatt-hour rate for your power — a solar PV system may be abetter bet. Ultimately, if you’re trying to decide which solar energytechnology is right for you, don’t be shy about asking questions!

Finally, it’s worth noting that there’s nothing to say you can’t install solar PV and solar hot water…

Are You a Good Candidate for Solar Hot Water?

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