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Doing the Math on Solar Water Heaters ($8K investment with savings of $55 on $100 annual gas bill)
American Thinker ^ | 06/25/2012 | Peter Wilson

Posted on 06/26/2012 7:26:24 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) claims that "solar hot water systems are great because they provide an easy and low cost way to create hot water in a clean and sustainable way."

On the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star website, we read:

"While the initial purchase price of solar water heaters is high compared to standard models, they can be cost effective. That is because the sun's energy is harnessed to reduce operating costs up to 90 percent."

To overcome this "initial purchase price" obstacle, government grants are needed so all these wonderful cost savings can be realized. To this end, a myriad of tax credits and rebate programs has been created in federal, state, and local governments. The Department of Energy has assembled a few of these programs in its Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE). Picking at random from a page-long list for Massachusetts, we find the Commonwealth Solar Hot Water Residential Program, which gave out grants of up to $3,500, or 25% of the installation cost over the last year and a half, with $1 million budgeted for residential and $1 million for commercial locations. The Commonwealth Solar II Rebates program offers a $4,250 rebate for residential photovoltaic installation.

A recent e-mail from a municipal agency called the Cambridge Energy Alliance (CEA), not listed with DSIRE, in association with the MassCEC, offered rebates of up to $2,000 to install a solar water heater (SWH) on my roof. I spent the afternoon crunching a few numbers and concluded, as suspected, that solar hot water systems are not "cost effective" and do not "provide an easy and low cost way to create hot water." The calculations are simple, but the relevant data is often obscured, as we shall see.

(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Science; Society
KEYWORDS: energy; gas; solar

1 posted on 06/26/2012 7:26:26 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
I heat my pool with solar. It's toasty warm!

2 posted on 06/26/2012 7:36:57 AM PDT by TSgt (The only reason I have one in the chamber at all times, is because it is impossible to have two in.)
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To: SeekAndFind
145 year pay-out . . . LOL!!! Just another example of liberal "thinking."

Hey, at least your grand kids will have "free" hot water . . . of course, after 145 years, some parts MAY need to be replaced. LOL!!!
3 posted on 06/26/2012 7:36:57 AM PDT by Sudetenland (Member of the BBB Club - Bye-Bye-Barry!!! President Barack "Down Low" Obama)
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To: SeekAndFind

$8k???

That seems about double what they are down here in Florida.


4 posted on 06/26/2012 7:39:24 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: TSgt

it’s not hard to warn a pool to bath water temps in the summer using the sun.

Now. try to warm water that comes in to the heating system at 30-45 degrees constantly while taking a shower. In the winter in the north east.


5 posted on 06/26/2012 7:40:30 AM PDT by cableguymn (If your policies are pushing the economy in to headwinds.. TURN YOUR POLICY AROUND!)
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To: driftdiver

And a $100 annual gas bill (even for just the hot water portion) seems very low.


6 posted on 06/26/2012 7:40:59 AM PDT by Flightdeck (If you hear me yell "Eject, Eject, Eject!" the last two will be echos...)
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To: driftdiver

in the NE they probably have to be about twice as large to over come out side temperature in the winter.


7 posted on 06/26/2012 7:41:37 AM PDT by cableguymn (If your policies are pushing the economy in to headwinds.. TURN YOUR POLICY AROUND!)
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To: SeekAndFind
The beauty of "sustainability" to the ruling elite is that it is unsustainable.

These people are, first and foremost, misanthropes. They hate all people who are not them. They want them all to die so they can live in the Walden paradise that they believe they deserve.

Their only purpose is to overwhelm the system, to destroy everything that actually works, and replace those things with things that are outrageously expensive and inefficient so that all those smelly, stupid human beings who aren't them are driven into abject poverty and eventually starve.

None of their "sustainability" schemes are intended to work. Quite the opposite. It's really no more complicated than that.

8 posted on 06/26/2012 7:43:25 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Government is the religion of the sociopath.)
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To: cableguymn

We have the opposite problem here in Central Texas.

We used to have a large in-ground swimming pool that we could only use in the fall and spring. In July and August, when it is over 100 degrees most days, the pool felt like a hot tub. We tried tossing several 50 pound blocks of ice in it, but the pool was too large for the ice to have any measurable effect.


9 posted on 06/26/2012 7:47:59 AM PDT by Bubba_Leroy (The Obamanation Continues)
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To: Flightdeck

I had a solar heater for my pool. Electric or gas heaters generally cost $300-400 per month just for a swimming pool.


10 posted on 06/26/2012 7:51:12 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
Hot water and showers are possibly a political problem for some ~ Occupy Wallstreet comes to mind of course.

Now, about the soap.....

11 posted on 06/26/2012 7:59:53 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: driftdiver

I am an engineer.
Three years ago I attended a week long training event on solar water heaters (for heating hot water for your house.) This was at the Midwest Renewable Energy Association. They showed a cost/benefit graph that showed a family of four would pay off their investment in 10 years. (Of course you needed a $2,500 federal tax credit and a $2,500 Wisconsin tax credit to make the numbers add up.) And did I fail to mention that to payback in 10 years also required no maintenance costs. Even though everything was only warrantied for five years and the water/antifreeze solution should be replaced every five years.


12 posted on 06/26/2012 8:02:05 AM PDT by american_ranger
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To: Bubba_Leroy

Playing human lobster aint no fun. Give me a coldwater creek any day!


13 posted on 06/26/2012 8:04:39 AM PDT by rawcatslyentist ("Behold, I am against you, O arrogant one," Jeremiah 50:31)
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To: muawiyah

It’s not about the hot water. It’s about throwing the $8000 down a rathole so you don’t have it to spend on something else. Or better yet, a government program that spends the money for you and explodes the deficit even more.


14 posted on 06/26/2012 8:05:46 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Government is the religion of the sociopath.)
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To: driftdiver

I drained my pool and painted the bottom black. It absorbed and retained heat very well and reduced the heating cost considerably. There were a couple of hot months in July and August when it got a bit warm, but it was offset by comfortable water temp in cooler months like Feb, March, April and October, November.


15 posted on 06/26/2012 8:10:24 AM PDT by Baynative (REMEMBER: Without America there is no free world!)
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To: american_ranger

Solar has its uses. Its not the right answer for every situation though.


16 posted on 06/26/2012 8:10:58 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Baynative

I tried painting the water black but had problems getting it to dry.


17 posted on 06/26/2012 8:13:50 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

I can see you haven’t been near an OWS encampment. Believe me it’s all about the hot water AND the soap. They don’t use it!


18 posted on 06/26/2012 8:16:25 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Your reply nailed evil bs pushed by the sustainable anti human freaks.

About 6 years ago, I had a heated discussion with an evil freaking lesbo sustainable bser.

She was basically saying that we should never eat anything that we didn’t grow or raise or what came from our farmers and ranches our county.

At that time we had about a dozen farmers and ranchers who raised enough stuff to sell in the county of over 125,000 legals citizens plus at least 10% more of illegals.

I asked her how those dozen farmers could raise the food to feed all of us.

After she went ballistic, I said, “Be careful of what you wish for, because our side owns the guns which we would use to feed our families!”

When one of these evil sustainable freaks start their bs, I stop them and tell them about the number of farmers/ranchers we have and how maybe they could feed 5% of the population. So who are they going to kill to make our county sustainable, the people without guns.


19 posted on 06/26/2012 8:18:21 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IS DESTROYING AMERICA-LOOK AT WHAT IT DID TO THE WHITE HOUSE!)
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To: SeekAndFind
"To overcome this "initial purchase price" obstacle, government grants are needed so all these wonderful cost savings can be realized"

======================================================

I fixed this to be accurate:

To overcome this "initial purchase price" obstacle, money stolen from taxpayers is needed so all these wonderful cost savings can be realized

20 posted on 06/26/2012 8:21:09 AM PDT by Wurlitzer (Nothing says "ignorance" like Islam!)
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To: american_ranger
Sounds like a two stage system ~ water/antifreeze pumped from a heat exchanger to the solar collectors and back in a constant cycle.

Kind of expensive if you don't need all that elaborate stuff. Here we get by with one stage ~ just pump the water through the collector. All you need to make it work is a large tank inside that feeds water to your hot water heater that sets the temperature standard, and takes care of those times when your system is iced up.

One of my cousins lives at roughly the same latitude in Indiana. She has an inground heat exchange system that feeds her heat pump ~ gives her year round heating and cooling for a few bucks. The capital costs are a tad higher though. She uses gas for water heating though.

21 posted on 06/26/2012 8:21:50 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: SeekAndFind
"To overcome this "initial purchase price" obstacle, government grants are needed so all these wonderful cost savings can be realized"

======================================================

I fixed this to be accurate:

To overcome this "initial purchase price" obstacle, money stolen from taxpayers is needed so all these wonderful cost savings can be realized

22 posted on 06/26/2012 8:22:26 AM PDT by Wurlitzer (Nothing says "ignorance" like Islam!)
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To: Wurlitzer

Depends on if it’s a tax exemption or a grant. If it’s just a tax exemption it’s your own money. If it’s a grant you got it from my pocket and I want it back.


23 posted on 06/26/2012 8:24:19 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: SeekAndFind

My wife and our sons are contantly amazed about how incredible stupid, supposedly intelligent people are when it comes the stupid and expensive green energy.

We know this family of supposedly highly educated UC Berk people with a successful small winey and vineyard.

They just took money from their 401ks which were hammered during the meltdown to finance solar electric for their home, the winery and other sites.

They asked me about it, and I asked them what they were going to live on when they gave up their current jobs and had they talked to their CPA about the increase in taxes this year to pay for the very expensive outlay due to the heavy withdrawal from their 401k to pay for the solar cost.

They are smart and very dumb liberals. Their eyes just glazed over. They admitted that they hadn’t talked to their CPA.

Their eyes glazed over again, when I asked them what they would do in 10 years when they were in their mid 70’s to replace their worn out solar system.

My wife had shot down their wet dream about an all electric car a month ago. Now she feels that they will now buy an all electric car to use their new solar electricity.

I asked her when they were going to charge an all electric car because at night, the sun didn’t shine a whole lot to make electricity. They still work and in the fall and winter, they often get home after dark. That is too late to use solar electricity to charge your all electric vehicle.


24 posted on 06/26/2012 8:33:35 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IS DESTROYING AMERICA-LOOK AT WHAT IT DID TO THE WHITE HOUSE!)
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To: muawiyah

If it’s a tax exemption the revenue to the government has to be taken from someone else’s pocket.

Either that or the Benbernank has to print it.


25 posted on 06/26/2012 8:35:58 AM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: american_ranger

I think the only place this comes close to working is Hawaii where there’s no anti-freeze issues AND electric is 20 to 25 cents per kwh - more than double the mainland avg. I’ve seen case studies where if they get enough subsidy / credits it actually might pay off if there aren’t any big maintenance costs.


26 posted on 06/26/2012 8:40:42 AM PDT by nascarnation
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To: DuncanWaring

Anything that reduces government revenue is something that needs to be cherished mightily.


27 posted on 06/26/2012 8:45:13 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: SeekAndFind

I got something similar to this from an HVAC company who wanted me to sign up for a long-term program where they come out every year and “tune” my HVAC system. Under their program, I pay the “reduced” price of $150 per service, but for this year, there was a rebate which reduced the price to $78. I kept reading, and they started touting the “huge” savings in my utility bills of “up to $75 a year.”

I said to Hubby, “Oh look, a program for people who can’t do basic math.” I’ll tune up my own HVAC, thank you very much. Idiots.


28 posted on 06/26/2012 9:15:49 AM PDT by Hoffer Rand (There ARE two Americas: "God's children" and the tax payers)
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To: Grampa Dave
We know this family of supposedly highly educated UC Berk people.......

Yes, but what they did FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELS like the right thing to do. AND that's what's important.

10 years from now, your kids (or grandkids) can work a second job to support them.

Don't get me started on how worthless "Alternative Energy" sources are. About the only thing that, IMHO, is marginally acceptable is anything with a massive water tank built in - the tank serves as a battery to hold the energy (heat). It still isn't great, and is better than nothing. But I'd not expect to get rich off what I save on hot water bills.

29 posted on 06/26/2012 9:21:35 AM PDT by wbill
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To: SeekAndFind

I’m in Kentucky and I have a solar hot water heater. It works absolutely wonderful, the only time the electric backup kicks on is on cloudy days which are usually in winter.

Average savings savings for us is around $75 per month. That is based on electrical usage pre and post solar hot water heater installation.

I also had a solar unit in Florida, Two actually, the first panel went bad after five or so years the second panel was still good seven years after it was installed. The technology improves on those things all of the time.

The first panel and the second panel used a separately powered pump to move water through it. My current panel uses a separate solar DC panel to power the pump. The current model uses propylene Glycol for the heat transfer fluid and a transfer coil in the Hot water tank to heat up the water. My Florida units used to heat the water directly.


30 posted on 06/26/2012 11:16:17 AM PDT by The Working Man
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