An energy efficient home credit is a great possibility for reducing the cost of upgrades. The installation of solar water heating equipment is one of the options that will qualify you for the residential energy efficiency property credit.
The popularity of solar equipment is growing all the time, particularly in areas that see a big number of sunny days per year. Apart from providing an opportunity for green energy production, solar panels can also be used for energy efficient water heating.
The execution of such projects delivers a vast range of benefits going beyond the energy efficient home credit. Here are some of the most important advantages to consider.
Diminished Use of Energy
Conventional water heaters need a lot of energy, which can add up to a large annual amount. According to the Solar Energy Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin, a four-member family consumes 6,400 kilowatt hours of electricity per year for water heating.
Solar equipment reduces that significant amount. In addition, it will reduce the carbon footprint of water heating. The conventional electric water heater is responsible for eight tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. It’s easy to see how the use of solar equipment is both cost-efficient and environment-friendly.
The cost-effectiveness of such systems will depend on location and the number of sunny days per year. These factors have to be taken in consideration, if you’re considering this possibility for getting access to an energy efficient home credit.
Reduced Cost of Equipment
Photovoltaics used to be very costly a couple of years ago. Today, the technology is readily accessible and more affordable than ever.
A residential solar water heating system will range in cost from 1,500 to 3,500 dollars, depending on its size and the water heating needs of the household. In this sense, electric and gas heaters are much less expensive.
The electricity savings that solar water heating produces, however, will bring a great return on investment. Depending on the location and the use of the system, solar water heaters will pay themselves off in four to eight years. The lifespan of such equipment ranges from 15 to 30 years, which makes it one of the most affordable options on the market.
A Few Shortcomings to Keep in Mind
Solar water heating is a great possibility if you’re interested in obtaining an energy efficient home credit but it’s far from a universal solution. There are a few shortcomings and limitations to consider in advance.
Many areas that see a cold and snowy winter will require the selection of a backup water heating system. Photovoltaic systems are not reliable 365 days per year. Fuel or gas backups are the most commonly selected options.
The solar panels have to be protected against low temperature and freezing. Thus, you’ll need to keep wintertime maintenance in consideration.
Finally, a tank will be required for water collection. This tank could get quite heated during the summer days. Choosing the right location for its placement will be essential.
The execution of such projects will qualify you for an energy efficient home credit in the period until the end of 2016. You can claim a credit of up to 30 percent of the equipment’s cost. On-site preparation, assembly and labor costs are included in the calculation. Do your research and make sure you understand the possibilities before picking solar water heating or another type of green technology for your home.
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