About a decade ago major electricity suppliers advertised with pictures of solar hot water heaters falling through the roof and hot water scorching those below. The intended message was that solar was evil and that it was safer to stay with electric hot water.
How times have changed, and now ‘green’ anything is used to gain market advantage.
Even though solar or other alternate systems are now a requirement for new homes, there are other practical reasons why these are suddenly desirable.
To the householder there is a continued saving of up to 85% off the usual hot water bill, which is significant when hot water accounts for around 40% of the total annual energy bill.
However, many households still don’t maximise the use of their systems. Workplace norms will have your plumber insisting that you can’t use your solar hot water in your dishwasher but if you keep looking to the fine print in the installation manual you will probably find that it is indeed possible.
Other misconceptions abound.
Solar hot water systems do not ‘run out’ of hot water and in fact there is a whole range of solar/gas/electric combinations to choose from, as well as heat pumps. This also dispels the myths about not providing hot water around trees, in winter, or when it rains.
Modern roofs require no extra reinforcing for the system and the actual tank can be located on the roof as a thermosyphon system or on the ground as a split system.
Finally, it is a misconception for me and everybody else to be calling these ‘alternate’ systems.
The State says you must use these in new homes and the Federal Government will give you a chunk of money to help fund your purchase.
It is actually a ‘bonus’ that you will be doing something good for the environment.
Yes, you are given money up front, you continue to save money, you are doing something good for the environment, and this continues for 20 years… is this a myth?