In recent years, water issues have become a very hot topic. Water shortages throughout the western United States, as well as severe droughts in the southern, have made water usage a major concern. Many green building experts agree that with a growing global population we can no longer rely only on water conservation.
Even for residents in gloomy states, solar panels can greatly reduce power costs, let alone carbon footprints. In fact, because of solar power success in Germany, the state of Washington (a state that receives overcast days 65% of the year) decided to copy Germany’s solar financial incentive programs.
What will you save when electing to use a solar water heater?
Energy. By using the sun’s free energy you can reduce your hot water energy consumption by 70% to 90%, depending on where you live. That’s up to 90% less gas or electricity that needs to be produced! This is a significant value because most homeowners are unaware that their water heaters consume about 25% of their total monthly energy.
Money. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the 2011 average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. resident was 11,280 kWh. Assuming the average national cost per one kWh is (and will remain for the duration of your water heater) $0.12 and the average percentage of total energy consumed by your water heater is 25%: how much will your water heater cost you in 11 years?
Your answer: $ 3,722.40 or $ 338.40 per year.
You can purchase a high quality solar water heating system for well under $2,000, meaning it will pay for itself and then some. Plus, you will be eligible for Federal Tax Credit of 30% of total installed cost (no cap).
Environment. Not only will you save on your energy costs, using the natural and free energy resource provided by the sun will greatly reduce your carbon footprint. It may sound like a surprising statistic, but if 50% of North America’s households utilized solar water heaters, the reduction in CO2 emissions would equal the result of doubling the fuel-efficiency of all automobiles in North America.
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