2 different types of "solar" for homes
Solar Thermal - Uses the sun to heater water
photovoltaic Solar - Uses the sun to make electricity
Solar water heating will cost you about $5,000 to replace your 4.5KW water heater with a solar system that will heat 95% of your hot water
If you wanted to make 4.5KW using photovoltaic technology...it would cost you about $40,000
Obviously...NO ONE SHOULD EVERY CONSIDER installing photovoltaic before a solar thermal water heater is installed.
If you install the water heater and then want to go for more "green energy" then you can make the big leap on a photovoltaic system.
Keep in mind that the water heater is the #2 energy using device in your house 2nd to only you heating and air conditioning.
Rough annual operating cost of operating a standard electric water is about $500...so you can see that it would take about 10 years for you to get your ROI on your system....thats why state and federal incentives are so important! Back 2-3 years ago you could get 70% of the $5,000 back from both the federal and state government through incentives....so your return on investment was only a couple of years.
This post was edited on 3/30 at 5:04 pm