In Australia, with our temperate climate and sunny weather, it makes sense to try and utilise what Mother Nature provides free of charge to heat your hot water. By using solar energy means you pay less than conventional electric or gas water heaters, whilst reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a win-win on all accounts! At Cheapa Hot Water, we are authorised installers of Solahart hot water heaters, who have been in the business of solar hot water for 60 years.
What system is right for me? And how much money will I save?
This will vary depending on your water usage, the amount of available sun, if your area is prone to frost, the water chemistry of your area and how many people are in the home plus your typical hot water usage. As an example of how much money you will save, by installing a Solahart 302KF, one of their most efficient models to replace your electric hot water heater, you can cut your water heating energy consumption by up to 70% if you live in Sydney. Our experienced solar hot water plumbers at Cheapa Hot Water will be able to expertly advise you on what system is right for your home and budget.
Is my roof suitable for solar hot water?
When switching to solar hot water, the following are best suited:
1. ROOF SPACE
Most houses will use 2 solar collectors which are around 2m tall x 1 m wide each. That means you need at least 2m x 2m, plus some clearance space on your roof.
For a roof-mounted tank, you’ll need even more roof space .
2. GROUND SPACE
You’ll also need some ground space for the ground-mounted hot water storage tank, if applicable. This isn’t necessary for roof-mounted tanks.
3. NORTH FACING ROOF AREA
It is best if the collectors can be mounted facing north in order to capture the most sunlight. If you’re not sure, use a compass or go to Google Earth to check if you’ve got a north-facing roof area.
The solar collectors will need to be placed in an area of high sunlight and minimum shade. Shade from trees and surrounding buildings aren’t ideal.
Climate can also be a factor when choosing a solar hot water heater. Extreme weather areas that get frost or very high heat will need a product designed to suit the climate.
If solar doesn’t suit your home then a heat pump system is a great alternative. In the industry we call heat pumps “solar without the panels”.
What are the environmental benefits of solar hot water?
Water heating accounts for around 25% of the average Australian’s household energy usage. By switching to solar hot water, this not only saves energy, but also reduces the greenhouse gas emissions that would have been produced to generate that energy. By replacing an electric storage water heater with a Solahart you can reduce your greenhouse gas emissions by up to 3.6 tonnes a year – that’s the equivalent of taking a small car off the road!
Switching to solar hot water and claiming STC rebates
The Federal Government introduced the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme to encourage individuals and small businesses to install renewable energy systems in their home or business.
Can I get a Government rebate if I switch to solar hot water?
You may be eligible for a Government rebate on the purchase of your solar hot water system. Eligibility requirements change all the time and our technicians will be able to provide you with the latest information and relevant forms.
How long will it take for my solar hot water system to pay itself off?
Financial payback will vary depending on your circumstances. With incentives, plus the ongoing energy savings, your investment should start paying itself off immediately. After you have recovered the cost of your initial investment, any savings you make in the future are yours to spend.
How long will my new solar hot water system take to install?
Typically a new solar hot water system takes 24 hours to install. In most instances, we can provide you with a temporary hot water heater if your old system has broken down so you won’t suffer the indignity of cold showers during the new installation process.
Information source: Solahart.
Still having hot water system problems?
If these steps don’t provide any solutions, we suggest you contact our service department on 0410 693 532 for advice. Our hot water service centre is open 7 days a week from 7am – 6pm.
Solar hot water is our business – it’s not a sideline like other companies! We are authorised installers and repair technicians for all the solar hot water heater brands including Solahart, Rheem, Edwards, Apricus, Quantum and many more. Our solar systems are competitively priced because we purchase large quantities direct from the manufacturers – a saving we can pass on to our customers.