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.
Well-designed and installed solar water heating systems will meet 50-75% of your hot water needs using the sun's free energy.
When the sun can't heat enough water to meet your needs, an electric, gas or other booster connected to a solar water heater mean you'll always have hot water.
Keep in mind
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’re going to use night rate electric back-up make sure you get a large enough storage tank.
- The system needs to be correctly set up to ensure the water in the tank is regularly heated to 60oC to prevent the growth of legionella bacteria.
- Use our water heating systems tool to compare the upfront and ongoing costs of different water heating options for your situation.
How they work
A solar hot water system absorbs the energy from the sun in collector panels located on the roof of your home, and transfers that energy to the water stored in your hot water cylinder. When there is not sufficient energy from the sun to heat the water in the cylinder a booster system (either electric, gas or wetback) is used to heat the water to the required temperature.