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A: In addition to solar electric systems, New England Clean Energy specializes in solar hot water systems that produce hot water for laundry, bathing and dishes. These systems require a lower upfront investment and less space, and are more shade-tolerant, than solar electric systems. Also, they qualify for interest-free loans from the state. Solar hot water systems typically meet two-thirds of a home’s hot water needs. We also occasionally install solar hot water systems that tie in with your heating system to provide space heating.
A. That’s just another term for solar hot water.
A. Solar collectors mounted on the roof, a hot water storage tank in the basement, piping between them and a circulator pump to move the heated fluid from the roof.
A: We recommend two collectors (32 square feet each) and an 80-gallon storage tank for households of four or fewer people. For households with 4-6 people, we recommend three collectors and a 120-gallon storage tank.
A: Before rebates and incentives, a two-collector system is approximately $10,000; a three-collector system is about $12,000. A state rebate pays for about 10% of the system cost. Then the system is eligible for a federal tax credit in the amount of 30% of the total out-of-pocket cost. This brings the net cost closer to $5,500- $6,500.
A: Your solar hot water system may be eligible for a 0% interest loan for up to $15,000 for 7 years. Contact MassSave.com at 866-527-7283 and ask about the HEAT loan.
A: The sun can heat your water to about 150-160 degrees in the summer, which is actually hotter than you need! But don’t worry, every system has a tempering valve to make sure water leaving your storage tank never exceeds 120 degrees. In the winter, the sun gets your water to around 90-100 degrees, and your traditional heating system gives the final boost to around 120 degrees.
A: There is always a ‘backup’ to solar hot water. Your solar-heated water is stored in a large, well-insulated storage tank. From there it passes through your existing storage tank for the final heating, if needed. If you have a one-tank solar solution, the solar storage tank will have a back-up electric heating element.
A: Yes. In fact, more times than not, a flush mount installation is appropriate, particularly if the roof faces south. In other instances where the roof is not ideal, we have mounted the solar collectors in an attractive awning-style.