Why Should You Build Solar Hot Water Panels?
Can you imagine only having to pay a fraction of what you’re paying now for hot water? Sounds pretty appealing, right?
Sure it does. And, not paying for another drop of hot water is one of the biggest reasons why so many people are installing solar hot water heaters in their homes.
Why Solar Hot Water Panels Are So Effective
According to Mother Earth News, most homes use 15%-20% of their energy to make sure that their hot water stays hot.
That’s a lot of energy over the lifetime of a home.
Solar hot water heaters are effective because they use the natural heat of the sun to heat water. Not only does this save homeowners money on their utility bills, but every solar hot water heater keeps an average of 1,500 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere each year.
Now, only in the warmest, sunniest climates can you expect a system to provide 100% of a home’s hot water. But, most homes can realistically count on 70%, and even the cloudiest seasons will provide around 50% of your hot water needs.
How Much Do Solar Hot Water Panels Cost?
As you can imagine, the costs for a solar hot water system are going to vary depending on how big you need your system to be and where you live.
For instance, if you live in Phoenix you’re not going to need a very big system at all. In northern New York, you’ll need more. So, it can vary pretty widely.
Mother Earth News reports that most people wil. spend between $3,000-$6,000 on a solar hot water system. And according to the U.S. Department of Energy (USDE), you can expect to see your monthly hot water bill drop 50%-80% once you get it up and running.
Want another piece of good news? State and Federal governments offer plenty of tax credits for solar hot water heaters. Right now, the Federal tax credit is at 30%. This means that whatever your system costs, you get 30% of that amount as a tax credit. And, that’s just what the Fed is offering. Many states also offer tax credits to residents who install a solar hot water system.
If you’d like to see what tax credits you qualify for, you can check out the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE).
Finding Your System
Want to know how much you could be saving with a solar hot water system? Then check out the solar calculator over at SolarEstimate.org. Here you can type in your zip code to discover the specific benefits of a solar system in your area.
A Great Reference
I have read quite a few articles and books on solar hot water and I think this is the best book available. If you’re a handyman with good plumbing skills, or a homeowner wanting to learn more about solar water heating, you’ll want to buy this book.
Solar Water Heating: A Comprehensive Guide to Solar Water and Space Heating Systems (Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series) by Bob Ramlow.