Solar water heating
Solar water heating uses the sun's rays to heat water, which is then stored in an insulated hot water tank. On a less sunny day, the system may need back-up heating, usually provided by electricity or gas.
What's good about solar water heating systems
- Well-designed and installed systems will meet 50-75% of your hot water needs using the sun's free energy.
- They work all year round with an electric, gas or other boosters for times when the sun can't heat enough water to meet your needs, so you'll always have hot water.
- The ENERGY STAR® mark lets you know which systems save the most energy
What to be aware of
- The upfront cost is high compared to other hot water systems.
- Not all properties are suitable for solar water heating - check with your supplier to find out.
- If you intend to use an electric back-up, check with your electricity retailer to see if a cheaper night-rate electricity tariff is available. If you are going to use night rate electric back-up make sure you get a large enough storage tank.
Tasman couple Vivien Edge and Ken Ross enjoy hot water heated almost entirely from the sun for eight months of the year, after installing a solar hot water system in their Upper Moutere rural property. Read more about their solar project.
Tracey and Robbie Torrance of Richmond upgraded to a solar water heating system to reduce their power bills and increase the availability of hot water. Read more about their solar project. Read more about their solar project.
When you live in a sunny region it makes sense to make the most of the sun's energy. The Nelson City Council is helping households to invest in solar water heating. Read about their solar project.
- Choose the right solar water heating system
- Solar water heating system components
- Installation and maintenance