Shedding Light on Solar Hot Water


At the ACEEE conference, there was attention given to solar hot water—a technology that is big in Europe and now even required in Hawaii.  Using the sun to heat your water is great for the environment and for your wallet! Especially with today’s skyrocketing energy costs! You can save up to 75% on water heating costs with a professionally installed solar system.

You don‘t have to live in sunny Arizona to benefit from solar. Even in cloudier locations like Syracuse or Seattle or Canada, a solar hot water system can help meet your hot water needs!

Another myth among homeowners is that solar hot water systems are too expensive to install. For example, in New York, there are currently generous tax credits and incentives that can put 65% or more of the system cost back in your pocket! Depending on what you use now to heat your water (gas, oil, electric), how much you‘re paying for that fuel, and how much hot water you use (and if like me you have teenage daughters, the answer is A LOT!), you can recoup the cost of the system in as little 3 to 5 years. After that, it‘s money in your pocket!

So how does it work? Solar hot water systems are usually used to heat water for basic household needs such as laundry, bathing, dishwashing, and cooking. These systems use solar energy – gathered from solar collectors usually mounted on your roof – to preheat water coming into a standard water heater. The warmer the water from the solar heater, the less conventional fuel is needed to provide for the household‘s hot water demands.

During the summer, a properly sized solar hot water system can provide up to 100% of a household‘s needs! In the winter, it will be less in snowy climates. On average, however, solar hot water systems meet between 60% to 70% of a home‘s annual load.

Solar systems not only save you money on your energy bills, they also increase your energy independence and decrease your environmental impact.   Visit the GreenHomes site to see if solar hot water is right for your home.


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10 Responses to “Shedding Light on Solar Hot Water”

  1. Rate It Green Says:


    LOVE this post. This is great information that everyone should know!

    Nice work!


  2. Green is a comfortable color! « GreenHomes America Says:

    […] Green is a comfortable color! By greenhomesamerica As this story about “Passive Houses” in the New York Times reports, energy-efficiency isn’t about freezing in the dark.  Done right, improving the energy-efficiency of homes makes them healthier, safer, and more comfortable.  Oh yeah—and they cost a lot less to operate!  The Canadians and northern Europeans have been looking at this a long time.  Germany—which is further north and has colder winters than most of the United States—is well ahead of us in solar electric and solar hot water. […]

  3. GreenHomes America Says:

    […] we’re seeing, solar hot water is ready for the big […]

  4. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (The Stimulus Package) « GreenHomes America Says:

    […] in tax credits for energy efficiency home improvement projects.  And the cap on the 30% credit for solar thermal/solar hot water has been lifted.   These credits apply for projects in 2009 and […]

  5. Solar hot water…for cooling! « GreenHomes America Says:

    […] hot water…for cooling! By greenhomesamerica I’ve talked about solar thermal (in this case, solar hot water) before.  At GreenHomes we’re excited about the elegance, […]

  6. globalsolarwind Says:

    Mike, thank you for your post and for your compliment! I visited your site and found your explanation most excellent, in particular the illustration on Solar Hot Water System Operation.

    Solar is definitely a great way to go!

    Wish you the best,

  7. Solar hot water video « GreenHomes America Says:

    […] Shedding Light on Solar Hot Water […]

  8. Solar hot water in New York « GreenHomes America Says:

    […] hot water in New York By greenhomesamerica Here’s a solar hot water (solar thermal) that GreenHomes recently installed on a chilly and cloudy day in upstate New […]

  9. Murray Says:

    A motivating discussion is worth comment. I believe that you ought to
    write more about this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but usually folks don’t discuss these subjects. To the next! Best wishes!!

    • Jason Todd Says:

      Thanks Murray,

      A number of our locations do quite a bit of solar work, after some solid home performance improvements of course! Expect to see more posts for sure.


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