Solar Hot Water
Here is a short video that explains a simple home solar hot water system.
Solar hot water is a very cost effective way to start your journey into energy self sufficiency. A simple DIY system of 30 evacuated tubes, plumbing, etc costs a consumer about $1500 which is an incredible value considering the relatively quick repayment period. Taking into consideration that hot water accounts for approximately 30% of the average households electricity use lets take a look at the numbers. I will use my current usage as an example. Please remember that this is for a family of 10!
Total cost of system : $1500
Energy cost: .08 per kWh
Monthly usage: 1606 kWh
Months to repay: 39
Now many people will look at the repayment period of 39 months with some trepidation. This seems like a long time to wait before you reap the direct benefits of a solar hot water system. I would challenge you to assess this from a few different perspectives before you make a final judgment.
Think of the initial investment as a form of a mortgage. Many people pay a household mortgage for 25 years before they reap the benefit of living without a monthly payment. In perspective, 39 months is a relatively short period of time to wait for your return on investment.
The second point I would like you to consider is that you will be saving about 30% on your monthly utilities. This means that when Murphy comes to visit, as he inevitably always does, you have a lower monthly financial commitment to overcome than if you were completely dependent on the utility company. Challenge: Call your utility company and ask for a 30% discount on your monthly bill next time you lose your job.
The final point I'd like to make is that the energy industry is very unstable and unpredictable. The only fact that we can predict with any certainty, is that energy costs will continue to rise as costs for production rise as well. In the previous 10 years, energy costs have risen approximately 35% which is a fact that I did not incorporate into my simple calculation above.
Thanks for reading,