1. Hi Darren,
    I was VERY impressed with the service Earth Utility gave you for the solar panel and even more impressed with the savings etc! I did see those evacuated tubes at the Solar hot water evening in Gerringong a while ago. Will be interested to see if you need to turn on the boost on at all over winter! Fantastic stuff! Cheers Chrissy

    • @Chrissy: I was at the SHW information night too. The tubes do seem to perform better, but it seems to me that flat panels work fine in our climate and are cheaper so that’s what we went with. I was just looking at our electricity bill – we pay about $45 per quarter for off-peak, which adds up to $180 over the year. Allowing for some use of boost, we’ll likely be saving about $150 per year.

  2. Congratulations on your solar hot water! We installed an evacuated tube system last year and it’s worked brilliantly (we live in an area that gets quite a lot of cloud and fog at times). The booster was connected to off-peak tariff, but we’ve rarely turned it on, so I’m going to have it re-wired to the standard tariff to reduce account fees; it hadn’t occurred to me when we installed it that we would use the booster so little, so that’s been a happy suprise. Good luck over winter, hopefully you won’t need the booster too much.

    • @Em: I like the technology of the tubes, so I’m a bit envious. They just cost more from our supplier, and we get really good sunshine so they weren’t really necessary here. Pity. I’m hoping our booster use (or lack thereof!) is similar to yours! I’m checking out your blog now…

      @Donna: Gas is better for the environment than electric, so it’s not too bad. You can get gas boost for solar, too, when the time comes.

  3. Donna

    Hi Darren,
    we currently have a gas hot water system. However i will defiantly choose a solar system when the need arises next time. My parents have had a solar system for years. They rarely turn on the booster switch and there hot water comes out very hot mum is always saying watch out the water is very hot… Have a great weekend. Donna.

  4. Right on! Good post. Solar hot water is quite affordable and depending on several variables can pay for itself in 5-7 years. It works in sunny climates–and it works in cloudy climates. It’s a great entree into renewables. See a basic description and diagram of a system at http://greenhomesamerica.wordpress.com/2008/09/12/shedding-light-on-solar-hot-water/. Note: systems can be designed to work with gas or electric (or propane or wood or….)

    Thanks and good luck!

    • @Mike: Here in Australia, solar hot water systems don’t work like that. They don’t just preheat the water coming into a conventional system – they completely replace the conventional system. The water recirculates from the storage tank back through the panels, keeping it hot. To handle rainy days, they generally have either electric or gas boost.

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