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The Benefits of Solar Water Heating - Is it Right for You?

The amount of solar power added worldwide soared by some 50% last year. While solar is still a very small player overall, it is growing fast - there is now thought to be 305GW of solar power capacity around the world, compared with virtually nothing at the turn of the millennium. 

Heating water is one of the more expensive ways we use power. It is believed that in New Zealand 30% of a home's energy use is from heating water. If you want to reduce energy costs, you could try using less water or you could think about going solar. Solar water heating is a green, renewable system that takes advantage of free heat from the sun. 

Well designed and installed solar water heating systems will meet 50-75% of your hot water needs. When the sun can't heat enough water, an electric, gas or other booster connected to a solar water heater means the system works all year round. Solar is efficient - approximately 80% of radiation is turned into heat energy - and it lowers your carbon footprint. 

But how do you know if solar water heating is right for your home? 

You will need roof space which faces predominantly North and receives direct sunlight for the main part of the day. You will also need space for a larger, or an extra, hot water cylinder. You will usually need to replace your existing cylinder or add a dedicated cylinder with a solar heating coil. 

In BRANZ research, correct installation was found to be the most important factor in determining the performance and efficiency of solar water heating systems. Installation had a bigger effect on performance than the specific technology used. So make sure you get help from professional solar water heating experts like the team at Eco Plumber Gas.