As one of the few countries that enjoys a lot of sun all year round, Australia is an ideal place for harnessing solar energy: more and more Australian households are choosing clean, free energy from the sun over costly electricity or gas.
But when it comes to solar power, the focus seems to be on solar-generated electricity while there are actually more ways to use the sun for energy. One such application is solar hot water.
What is Solar Water Heating?
Solar water heating is a cost-effective and environment-friendly process of drawing energy from the sun to heat water for a home. Similar to photovoltaic cells that generate electricity, solar panels are installed on the roof to capture the sun’s heat and transfer it to the waterline. Hot water is then stored in an insulated tank for future consumption.
Installing a solar hot water system is a smart way to cut power expenses, reduce dependency on the grid and make a small difference to the planet.
Solar Hot Water in New South Wales
Solar hot water systems are becoming an attractive option for households in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, and Central Coast. Here at Hogan Hot water, we specialise in helping homeowners make the switch from traditional water heating to solar if they wish to do so, but before deciding to go solar for yourself, here are some considerations:
Pros: Why Choose Solar Hot Water?
1. Reduced or Eliminated Power Bills
Hot water is one of the biggest items on a household energy budget – roughly 25% of the energy expenses in an average Australian home. So, switching to solar hot water can immediately help save money on water heating bills.
According to energy regulators, simply installing a solar water heater can cut water bills by around 50% to 80% and because the sun is free, there are no future fuel shortages and price hikes to worry about.
In terms of cost, one household can save up to $800 per year with an entry-level solar system, depending on the size and location of the panels. Any surplus solar energy can also earn money by feeding it back into the grid.
2. Enjoy Hot Water 24/7
Like how a solar battery stores electricity, a solar water system stores heated water for later use. This means hot water is available day and night, even during cloudy and rainy days.
While clouds may filter out some of sun rays, most of the sunlight still reaches the PV panels on the roof. However, continuous days of cloudy weather can sometimes reduce solar efficiency. Fortunately, Hogan solar hot water systems provide a backup to ensure that hot water runs 24/7 even when the sun is not shining.
3. Very Low Maintenance
When installed correctly, solar hot water systems pretty much run by themselves and require very little to no maintenance. The solar panels will absorb the sun’s energy then heat the water, and a booster kicks in when the sun is not hot enough.
4. Government Incentives
The Australian Government Renewable Energy Target Scheme offers generous incentives to homeowners who want to install solar systems. Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) worth up to $1000 can be traded, sold, or applied as an installation discount. Yes, solar hot water systems can be expensive upfront, but government rebates can be offset with some of the purchase cost.
5. Make Your Own Difference to The Planet
In addition to helping families save money on electricity, solar water heaters can positively impact the environment. Enjoy heated water at home while reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels.
Cons: Why Give Solar Water a Second Thought?
1. Cost of Installation
The initial installation cost for solar-powered water heaters can be quite high compared to a traditional electric hot water system. Then you have to take into consideration the fact that solar panels add weight to the roof.
However, for hot water systems that are old or worn out, now is the perfect time to upgrade to a solar water heater and they last for up to 25 years, so they pay for themselves in the long run.
2. Difficult Installation Process in Some Homes
Solar panels may not be suitable for older homes, and reinforcing roofs can add money to the upfront cost. The installation process is also complex and elaborate, hence the installation cost, but you don’t have to worry so much about this, because a qualified solar fitter will do the work for you.
3. Solar Efficiency Can Vary According to Climate and Roof Space
Although solar panels work even under overcast skies, the sun should be beaming hot from 10 am to 3 pm to harness enough power. If there are shading issues or the roof area is not ideal, it might not be viable to install a solar hot water system.
Anything that adds shade to a home – nearby trees and buildings – can limit the amount of sunlight absorbed by the panels. In addition, limited natural sunlight can reduce the amount of solar power that the system can generate for water heating.
Before choosing to go solar, be sure to trim any trees nearby and eliminate all obstructions, then enjoy the benefit of free solar energy!
Start Saving on Your Water Heating Expenses Today!
Some of you might think you may find it challenging to come up with the money for purchasing the unit plus installation costs, but that’s where government incentives and rebates come in – to offset some of the cost and help homeowners finally make the switch.
The reality is, in most cases, installing a solar hot water system is well worth it in the long run. With the potential to save hundreds of dollars in electricity every year, the system will eventually pay for itself. More importantly, you get to help the environment too by not contributing to the degradation of the planet.
Contact Hogan Hot Water
If you want to make the change, get in touch with one of our technicians at Hogan Hot Water. We’d be happy to evaluate your home situation and answer any questions that you may have.
Having hot water system emergencies? Contact Mike at 0488029618 right away!