How Long Does it Take to Pay Off a Solar Water Heater

We have already figured out that it can cost a family of 5 about $348.43 a year to heat water to 140 degrees Fahrenheit with electricity. If this same family could build a solar water heating system for $750 and that system were 75% efficient, they would be saving $261.32 a year in electrical utility costs ($348.43 x .75 = $261.32). Dividing this figure into $750, we can compute that it will take 2.8 years to pay for the system (with inflation it may take even less time).

If the family spent $2,500 to have the system installed by someone else, it would take 9.5 years to pay it off. Let's keep in mind though, that electricity is the most expensive way to heat water. Fuel oil and natural gas are somewhat cheaper. (It would take 8.2 years to pay off a homemade system that was previously run entirely with oil, and 11.2 years to pay off the same system if it were fired by natural gas.)

To summarize all this in less mathematical terms, an average family, with a system of average efficiency, barring any major breakdowns

Million British Thermal Units Average Consumption Pet Family.

Million British Thermal Units Average Consumption Pet Family.

Graph 1. This graph, calculated by Paul Shippee of Colorado Sunworks, P.O. Box 455, Boulder, projects the costs of heating water with electricity, propane, and natural gas over the next several years. It also gives you an indication of how long it should take to pay for a solar water heater. Shippee's figures, although they vary slightly, are very close to our own.

Graph 1. This graph, calculated by Paul Shippee of Colorado Sunworks, P.O. Box 455, Boulder, projects the costs of heating water with electricity, propane, and natural gas over the next several years. It also gives you an indication of how long it should take to pay for a solar water heater. Shippee's figures, although they vary slightly, are very close to our own.

and additional expenses, should be able to pay for its solar hot water heating system in 5 to 10 years — which is what you really wanted to know in the beginning.

Solar Panel Basics

Solar Panel Basics

Global warming is a huge problem which will significantly affect every country in the world. Many people all over the world are trying to do whatever they can to help combat the effects of global warming. One of the ways that people can fight global warming is to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources like oil and petroleum based products.

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Responses

  • manlio
    How long does it take to pay off natural gas?
    6 years ago
  • catriona
    How long does it take for a solar heater to pay forits self?
    6 years ago

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