Heating the water in your house accounts for about 11% of your annual energy costs. The sun generates more power in a day than all of the fossil fuels on earth, so let it heat up the water you use every day. Save up to 70% on your hot water bill by channeling water from the rooftop panels to your existing water tank. You may be surprised at how small the panel is and how much hot water is generated even on overcast winter days. Worry-free systems have no maintenance and last decades, so savings extend well beyond ten years.
The ROI Calculation is based on current hot water for showers, dishwashing, and laundry costs at about $110 a year per person (With natural gas costs at $1.15/gallon and electricity costs at 7 cents/kilowatt hour). The annual utility cost for a four person household is typically over $400.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provides you with a 30% Tax Credit for Solar Water Heaters that are put into service by the end of 2016. This tax credit item is for existing homes or new construction. This does not have to be your primary residence and it includes the cost of materials and installation.
3 KEY POINTS
- The tax credit cap is $1,500 on collective home improvement elements other than Geo-Thermal 'Ground Source' Heat Pumps, Solar Hot Water Heating, Solar Photovoltaic, and Fuel Cell systems - which each have no cap and are eligible through 2016.
- The tax credits for exterior 'weatherization' improvements like windows, doors and insulation do not include the cost of installation!
- If you reach the $1,500 cap in 2009, you are not eligible for additional tax credits in 2010.
Choose Solar Water Heaters that meet these criteria to get the Tax Credit; and check products carefully, because in many cases an ENERGY STAR certification does not necessarily meet the tax credit requirements below:
- At least half of the energy generated by the “qualifying property” must come from the sun. Homeowners may only claim spending on the solar water heating system property, not the entire water heating system of the household.
- The credit is not available for expenses for swimming pools or hot tubs.
- The water must be used in the dwelling.
- The system must be certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC).
This ‘super-sized’ system has three panels instead of one, because it also heats the water for the radiant floors in addition to showers, dishwashers, and other hot water needs.