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Solar Hot Water FAQs

How much can I really save with a solar water system?

The average water heating cost for a four person household is around $1,300 per year. Solar hot water systems provide 65% to 75% of the annual hot water needs. A properly sized and professionally installed solar hot water system will save an average four person household between $800 to $1,200 per year depending on the fuel source. During summer months, when the sun shines longest, many solar owners turn off their backup water heating system.

Are there rebates available and how much does the system cost?

Federal and state incentives currently pay 55% of the total system cost! Solar domestic hot water systems qualify for a 30% federal tax credit. New York offers a 25% state tax credit. After these incentives, the net installed cost is around $5,900. Typically, the after-tax return on investment will be over 18% per year. We offer payment plans starting at $80 a month which is less than average monthly fuel savings. 

Will I run out of hot water?

No. You now have twice as much hot water available. You will still have your existing gas, oil or electric hot water heater as a backup.

What maintenance is involved?

A high quality, professionally installed solar hot water system is virtually maintenance-free. We recommend replacing the heat exchange fluid every 4-5 years. Otherwise, there is no regular maintenance on the system.

Where will the panels be installed?

The best orientation for a solar hot water system is on a south-facing roof; however, roofs that face east or west may also be good candidates. Flat roofs also work well for solar hot water systems, because the thermal collectors can be mounted on brackets tilted south.

How does it work?

An active, closed loop system with flat-plate solar collectors is the best solar hot water solution for homeowners in the northeastern United States. These systems employ insulated aluminum frames, copper pipes with black absorber plates, and tempered glass to produce water temperatures between 130o-160o F. Sensors on the roof and in the solar hot water tank determine when to turn the system on and off throughout each day. When sunlight hits the solar collector on the roof, the pump and controller are activated. The pump circulates heat exchange fluid through the collector, where it is warmed by the sun, and returns the heated fluid to the heat exchanger.