While SC creeps along with net-metering, I thought I’d take a look at a solar technology that has positive economics today: solar hot water. Hot water heaters consume a large share of our household juice each year, so cutting the cord can have a real impact.

I contacted Solar Hot Water Works (part of Elemental Design Group), and Thane came over for a quick site evaluation and estimate. As I suspected, my south-facing roof suited the 2-panel setup well. This means the simple drainback system could hook me up with most of my hot water and cut my electric bill by up to 1/3. Nice.

With the federal tax credits, the ROI makes sense as a home owner…both in energy savings and home value. I also think it improves the look of the neighborhood and sets a positive example, something I can’t wait to discuss with the architecture review board. Wish me luck!

If you’re interested in a solar hot water heater, you can check out some great online resources here, here, and here.

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