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What’s involved, how much, how does this work?

file000917541408Needless to say, this is a project which should be approached with both glee and care. Among other things, the installation of a solar thermal system involves penetrating the roof. Therefore, when going forward with a solar water heater, an important component is an experienced installation crew. Energy Alternatives works with one of the most experienced crews in the country. Before doing anything, we put our money where our mouths are and had a system installed on our own house. It was a challenging install for many reasons (big house, unusual roof.) The result? Sweaty, worn out guys and a perfectly operating solar water heater.


What’s involved?

When you decide it’s time to be ahead of the game and to consider a solar water heater for your home or business, the first thing to do is an assessment. This involves questions like: If this is for your home, how many people are there in the household? Also, what is the geographic location of your home or business, what direction does your building face, where is your existing water tank and what type of roof do you have? The answers to these questions will help decide which system is best and what will be involved in the installation. The good news is that you don’t have to study up to make this happen, you can fill out an assessment form or call us. We’ll offer a free consultation to give you a general idea of what system will work best for you.


How much?

That depends entirely on what kind of system will work for you. The good news is that a solar water heater is probably the best investment you can make for your home. It is the most efficient appliance available for a home or business, and the payback time is short when compared to most other improvements. Here are some numbers from various studies. In most homes, 30% of the household energy dollar goes towards heating water when using electric and slightly less with natural gas. Systems installed in most of Florida are about 90% efficient. We’ll use numbers here from a house that was all electric before the installation of a solar water heater. In spite of a 12% increase in rates from the power company, the homeowner has been saving between $50-$60 per month. Now let’s look at cost and payback time. Let’s say a typical system costs $5000. Off the top of that we subtract the tax credit, which would make the total cost of the system $3500. This would make the payback time on the system (using our above numbers) less than six years. Numbers will vary with every household. The good news is, after the system pays for itself, it keeps running and producing hot water for years and decades to come. Payment for a system can be done by check, credit card, or through our financing program.


How does this work?

beach-375069_640You can either spend a year or two studying various systems, or you can contact us. We’ll help you look at the details and decide how to proceed. A typical project begins with reading this, then proceeds to an email, phone call or the assessment form. From there, the basics such as which system is best and a general feel for the installation sight can be gained through either a phone or email conference. Next is the sight assessment, where one of us arrives and does an in depth look around to fill in the details such as where the system will go, how it will work, and how much it will cost. This is where payment financing can be discussed. After the details are worked out, an installation can be scheduled. The typical installation takes the better part of a day and generally involves nothing more than a few hours without water in the house. This will be coordinated with you to keep any disruption to a minimum.