Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Guilt-free Showers? New Solar Technology Makes it Possible

NF Note: Sounds like a great idea to explore. You can start the process off in Peachtree City with the local solar golf cart company who also has some solar panels.

(ARA) - Every time you take a shower, do the laundry or wash the dishes, you’re spending money -- big money. The average household with an electric water heater spends about 25 percent of its home energy costs on heating water, according to the Department of Energy. Many Americans are resigned to this fact, but there is an affordable way to save money and fossil fuels.

Today, affordable, lightweight, all-polymer solar hot water systems can sit on your roof and provide for up to 50 percent of your home's hot water needs. In states like Arizona, Texas, California, Florida and Hawaii, homeowners are reporting up to 100 percent energy savings. Polymer solar systems are replacing the heavy, expensive copper solar collectors of the past.

Homeowner Derek Reidhead, of Phoenix, Ariz., relies on solar thermal energy. “You’re not going to believe this,” he says. “I turned the (electrical) breaker off to install the system and never turned it back on. I had no electricity to the water heater for 30 days!”

Reidhead says his system produces enough hot water for six to seven people to take showers, do their laundry, wash dishes and do all of the normal things a household does.

According to the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), solar hot water installations have boomed since the 2006 increase in the federal investment tax credit. Recently, the tax credit was extended to the year 2016. The IREC says that rising conventional energy costs have also played a role in homeowners’ search for better efficiency and affordability in solar.

Saving money with this new kind of solar technology is easy. The moment you turn your system on, you start saving energy and costs. You also immediately qualify for a 30 percent federal tax credit of up to $2,000. According to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, 17 states offer personal tax incentives and 34 states offer state, local and/or utility rebates so there is even more financial incentive.

The lightweight, all-polymer solar hot water systems cost about $4,000 if you have them professionally installed. If you do it yourself, it can cost a little over $2,000. The system works with your existing hot water heater, whether it’s gas, electric or tankless. It weighs just 70 pounds and fits into a single box. FAFCO (www.fafco.com) is the oldest and largest solar water heating manufacturer in the United States, and leads the nation in pricing, ease-of-installation, and energy efficiency.

Since 2005, solar hot water installations have quadrupled in the continental states -- with good reason. Leaders have called on citizens to become energy independent and environmentally conscious. And who doesn’t want to take long, hot showers without going bankrupt? Solar thermal technology is here to stay.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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