Saturday, May 23, 2009

Is solar water heating a viable alternative to gas or electric heating?

Solar should not be seen as an alternative to heat sources, but rather a supplement. Solar cannot totally replace the need for these sources, as there are times when sunlight is limited. However, over the course of a year, a correctly sized solar system can provide 80-90% of your household hot water needs, or 50% of your house heating needs.

A family of 3 can save about $600 per year on just hot water needs. Over 10 Years, with an average fossil fuel price increase of 10%--( it has gone up 100% in the last 7 years), you would have a payback in about 5 years, and basically savings for the next 30 years. Payback for commercial buildings in 2-3 years. The price of your house will go up more than the initial investment, many times. The average out of pocket cost for a complete DHW solar system, for a family of 3 is--- $ 3,500- $ 4,800 depending on your needs. Payback in 5-8 years on the average.

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