Why indeed? We wondered that ourselves. Using electricity to produce heat is a terribly inefficient use of your power dollar. Natural gas is less costly than electricity, but still far more expensive than solar (not to mention that many neighborhoods are not set up for natural gas, so you can’t get it anyway.) We don’t know about you, but our power company recently raised their rates substantially, and natural gas costs are through the roof as well (how about 700+% since 1999!) Most of us don’t realize just how much electricity an electric water heater uses every year. The amount is almost five MEGAWATTS! For one house? For one year? It is true. That is a massive amount of energy. And at our ever increasing power rates, that is also a lot of money: $600 or more per year.
So who wants to pay even more for an inefficient technology? There are many alternative energy systems out there these days. What is great about solar thermal is that it provides by far the biggest “bang for the buck”. The savings are big, the feeling of being smart is bigger and getting essentially free hot water for decades to come is the best of all.