In 2009, the State of Hawaii installed 9,500 solar water heaters. It is now Hawaiian law that every new home must have a solar water heater. Israel so values solar power that 90% of their homes have solar water heaters. China and other countries are far ahead of the U.S. in the use of solar energy. As a nation, we use vast amounts of power, yet we are not a leader in such a valuable field.
Most are not aware that a solar water heater may be installed in an existing home in only 1 to 2 days. The solar tanks have an electric element that assures you are never without hot water. This electric element is only needed about 2% of the time.
Few people realize what a huge impact several hundred thousand solar water heaters can have on a country’s energy demand. Thermal solar (heating water) is a sensible and efficient way to avoid the expense and potential danger of nuclear plants. Hot water is always needed and solar energy is the best method to meet those demands. Since thermal solar heats our oceans, isn't it about time we utilize
the proven technology of solar water heaters?
We also use the sun to create electricity with a process known as “photovoltaic” or PV. While it may not be the homeowner’s first thought in seeking energy independence, PV is necessary to reach total independence. Photovoltaic does not produce as much energy per dollar as solar thermal, but it is now becoming more economically feasible. The 25-30 year life expectancy of the solar panels certainly add value to the investment. Independence and uncertainty of future rates make it even more appealing. The 30% tax credit is the catalyst for both types of solar.
Most homeowners who have a solar water heater are 28% less dependent on their power supplier. This is a huge step in an enviable goal of owning a home that is totally energy independent. “Point-Of-Use” power will one day be our society's norm.
13,000 to 15,000 solar water heaters can produce as much energy as the new smaller nuclear plants proposed by TVA. It is my understanding that TVA has a debt of $27 billion dollars. Why add additional billions of dollars to facilitate the inefficient way we receive our power, especially when we have such an attractive alternative? Presently 10-15% of the energy TVA produces is lost in transmission, not to mention the maintenance of lines, poles, manpower, etc. This method of power transmission will one day be as antiquated as the iceman, an occupation totally unfamiliar to the younger generation.
Most are aware of the danger posed by additional nuclear facilities, either from terrorist threats or human error. The minimal effect on the atmosphere by nuclear power does not offset the dangers of creating electricity from such a fuel. Like other problems, it seems the expense of storing nuclear waste will be passed down to our children and grandchildren.
Solar is a viable alternative solution to the energy problem. We need to consider installing solar to help defray our predictable power rate increases. Now is the time to use strength we have in numbers. Use this information and locate a company who installs solar water heaters and as the first step to energy freedom, install thermal solar.
It feels good to have your own utility company, on your roof, that provides almost 28 per-cent of your total electricity needs. With the help of the 30% tax credit, a solar water heater is a better investment than a guaranteed 10% return on your money, even if rates never increase.