Solar hot water systems use solar collectors (tubes or panels) to absorb energy from the sun to heat water for your home. The heated water is then stored in an insulated tank for when you need it.
With a solar hot water system, you could get between 50 and 90 per cent of your hot water for free.
If you replace an inefficient hot water service with solar, you can usually recover the upfront cost of the new system in 5 to 10 years - you will use the sun as a free source of energy and save the cost of heating water with electricity.
Benefits of Solar Hot Water
The benefits of solar hot water far outweigh the upfront cost:
- The difference in cost will be paid back quickly, as you'll spend less on heating water.
- A solar hot water system can increase the value of your home.
- You will reduce the amount of greenhouse gases your home produces.
Getting the most out of a Solar Hot Water System In cold and temperate climates solar hot water systems are likely to need protection from frost. Positioning your system to face north or to avoid shade will help it to operate at peak performance. Shade from trees and buildings can reduce the efficiency of some hot water systems. If you can find ways to save water, you could save money by buying a smaller system than you would have otherwise needed.
State Government Rebates
Hot Water System Rebate
The following rebates are available if you switch from an electric hot water system.
The rebate structure is as follows:
Gas hot water system with a 5-star or higher energy rating
Solar or heat pump hot water system
up to $1,200
For more information visit www.environment.nsw.gov.au .
Federal Government Rebates & Programs
Renewable Energy Bonus Scheme
If you are replacing an electric storage system, you may be eligible for the Renewable Energy Bonus Scheme.
This scheme will operate from 20 March 2010.
For more information visit LivingGreener.gov.au
Home Sustainability Assessment
The home assessment will involve an inspection of your major energy and water systems, heating and cooling, lighting, refrigeration, cooking and entertainment. The assessor will also examine water efficiency both indoors and outdoors and also look at your waste management. This information is entered into an assessment tool to calculate your environmental impact and provide suggestions for improvement.