Water and Space Heating
Applying heat captured by solar collectors to meet domestic demands is practical and affordable.
In many locations, space heating and domestic hot water production expenses outstrip the cost
of electricity, prompting questions about the best use of rooftop space. Air conditioning can also
be provided in the thermal domain, making solar thermal systems very persuasive propositions.

Household Energy Expenses

        Thermal                       Electric
$346 Space Heating      $129 Refrigerator
$370 Air Conditioning    $617 Electricity
$273 Water Heating

$989 Total (57%)          $746 Total (43%)

South-Atlantic census region data:
Cost Benefits

The value propositions offered by solar thermal and photovoltaic systems are sharply contrasted in the example to the left. Per dollar invested and square foot of roof space used, a higher percentage of annual energy costs are avoided when investments favor thermal technologies.

Photo courtesy of Sun Water Solar

This Richmond CA system, furnished by Sun Water Solar, provides "up to 70%
of the 65-unit building’s hot water load". The total system cost was $139,000, of which $42,785 was a CSI-Thermal rebate.

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