Building a Home with Solar Water Heating Pays Off Big

Building a home with solar water heating system can save you money immediately and can pay off big.

Initially, installing a solar water heating system will cost you more than installing a standard water heating equipment, but the thermal system will save you money and in the long-term, you will get positive cash flow.

Since you are still building your home, you can save more because you can make your house design in a way that it will make solar thermal installation easier and that will feature other green building technologies.

Integrating green systems during your construction is definitely better and more cost-effective than making additions or revisions for green technology to an already finished house.

For instance, before building, you can analyze your geographic location and then see how you should orient your roofing so that your solar collectors can receive the most rays from the sun.

What you should do, according to Jim Cika of solar product manufacturer VELUX America, is to take a look at the different solar technologies available, their installation, costs and benefits before building a home. Look at solar photovoltaic, which uses solar heat to generate electricity, or solar thermal, which uses solar heat to heat water.

Look also at the requirements of the federal government’s Energy Star program for solar water heating systems so you can get your rebates up to $2,000. The rebate program reimburses 30 percent of your total system costs.

Cika said that the installation cost for a solar water heating system ranges from $8,000 to $12,000, depending on the water heating requirements of your household. He said that typically, two or three solar collector panels are installed on the rooftop and that solar hot water tanks are offered in 80-gallon or 120-gallon sizes.

According to Cika, you can reduce your water heating costs by up to 80 percent with the thermal heating system. This will result in a substantially reduced total energy bill because water heating accounts for up to one-fourth of total energy consumption in an average household, as calculated by the U.S. Energy Department.

In a new home construction, the installation cost of the thermal heating system can be added to the total cost of the house and to the home loan amount. The monthly energy savings you can get from the thermal heating system would exceed the increase in your resulting monthly amortization, according to Cika, so consider installing a solar water heating system before building a home.

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