Need a new water heater? Thinking of going solar? In a city that averages 299 days a year of sunshine, taking advantage of solar power could provide ample savings.
Our licensed plumbing firm installs hundreds of water heaters per year in phoenix. We would like to answer your question if switching to a solar unit is the right choice for you. Let’s take a closer look…
10 things to consider before choosing solar.
Do you live on a street that is shaded by trees or buildings?
Shade adversely affects the performance of a solar water heater. If your roof doesn’t receive sufficient direct sunlight, the savings you hope to gain may be unrealistic.
Does your HOA allow the installation of solar panels?
Most homeowner’s associations have architectural restrictions. Your HOA may not allow for solar panels to be installed in plain view. Although Arizona law protects your right to install solar panels, it doesn’t prohibit HOA’s from imposing restrictions on placement. It is prudent to review your bylaws and check with your HOA before committing to a solar installation.
Planning on moving within five years?
With the up-front costs to acquire a solar water heating system, it will take some time before the savings pile up. If you have a plan on relocating soon, solar water heating is most likely not for you.
Does your roof need a replacement soon?
Solar panels are typically installed on your roof. Since solar panels last 25-40 years, they may outlast your roof. If your roof doesn’t have much life left, the solar panels would need to be detached and re-installed after a roof replacement.
Do SRP and APS still offer the incentives?
The utility companies provide incentives for solar water heating with a limited budget. Once the funds run out, the incentives will no longer be available.
The APS available resources can be viewed here https://www.aps.com/en/residential/renewableenergy/renewableenergyincentives/Pages/remaining-budget.aspx
The SRP available funds can be seen here http://www.srpnet.com/environment/business/solar/watercontractor.aspx
If you feel solar water heating is right for you, a few more things to consider.
Evaluate the up-front costs for solar water heating:
Most traditional water heater installations will cost $900-$1200 for an average installation. Your average solar water heater installation can range between $5,000 to $7,000. This price may vary based on the contractor you hire and the products you choose. Installing a solar water heater requires an up-front investment, but the savings associated are usually worth it.
Determine your savings:
Living in a state that produces sunshine 85% of the time, your savings can add up. The amount of money you save may depend on the amount of hot water your household uses, the system’s capabilities, and the available incentives. On average, your water heating bill should drop 40% to 75%. One of the biggest advantages to harnessing the power of the sun is the protection you receive from future energy bill increases.
Know your required size:
Sizing your system involves determining your collector area and the storage volume you will need. A 50-gallon storage tank should provide sufficient hot water for one to three people. An 80-gallon storage tank works well with three to four people. If five people reside in the household, you may consider a 100-gallon storage tank. Consulting with a solar plumbing contractor to determine your hot water consumption will prove useful. Most solar contractors will use computerization to determine your required size.
Obtaining a permit:
If you live in the city of Phoenix, permits are needed for solar water heater installations. Check with your local governing building department to inquire about the need for a permit in your area. Most solar contractors facilitate the permit process for you. If your local jurisdiction requires a permit, and you fail to obtain one, you risk not qualifying for SRP or APS incentives.
Choosing the right solar contractor:
No, not all solar contractors are the same. Who you decide to hire is important. By hiring an unqualified contractor, APS and SRP may not provide incentives based on the contractor’s lack of credentials. Thoroughly vetting your solar contractor is crucial to reducing your liability. Licensed, bonded, and insured contractors provide you with third party consumer protection.
If you are looking for a Plumber in Phoenix we can help you