You’re probably familiar with the concept of solar heating – high-tech panels mounted on the roof that convert sunlight into electricity. While definitely helpful, the cost to install them ($30-60k for an average home before incentives) is prohibitive for most people, and the payoff period can be 15-20 years. A cheaper, easier, and more cost-effective option is to install solar water heating instead.
Simply put, a solar water heater uses a panel on your roof to collect solar energy to heat the water, which it stores in your existing hot water heater. When necessary, such as at night, your existing hot water heater can heat water like normal. The solar heater can assume over half the load, maybe more depending on how much hot water you use and when you use it. For a typical home, the savings are estimated at $50/month.
Thanks to the Obama administration’s tax credits and a special program by Oncor Electric Delivery for its customers, the net cost of installing a system in the DFW area can be around $2000. By saving around $600 annually on your electric bill, the system pays for itself in 3-4 years.
We would love to add one but haven’t decided on the timing. Have any of you installed one of these?