Water heating accounts for a whopping 23% of the energy used in an average Australian home, so installing the most appropriate heater for your household can save you money.
Both heat pump and solar hot water systems are cheap to run and low in greenhouse gas emissions compared to other electric and gas systems - a win for your household budget and the environment. So, which one should you choose?
What is a solar hot water system?
Solar hot water systems are very different to the solar panels that power many homes.
A photovoltaic (PV) solar panel system generates electricity directly from sunlight. These solar panels are made from glass and silicon, cover significant roof space, and help to power the entire house.
Alternatively, a panel for a solar hot water system contains copper tubes that collect water, heat it in sunlight, and send it to a water storage tank. Unlike PV solar panel systems, solar hot water panels contain only one panel and can only heat water; they can’t power anything else.
What is a hot water heat pump?
Like your air conditioner and refrigerator, a hot water heat pump pulls heat out of the surrounding air and uses electricity to move that ambient heat into the water tank. Heat pumps can cost $408 less to run/ year than gas heat pump.
Unlike conventional electric-resistive systems, which use electricity to heat water directly, hot water heat pumps use electricity to move heat from one place (air) to another (water). This efficient process results in cheaper running costs and a lower environmental impact.
Solar hot water system vs hot water heat pump
Both solar hot water and heat pumps help homeowners to save money and lower their carbon footprint. If you’re looking for a more convenient, low-maintenance option, heat pumps usually offer a better deal, but as always, we recommend you speak to at least three different installers so you get a quote that is suitable to your needs.
When to consider a solar hot water system
You will need space for a tank in your home for a heat pump. If you don’t have space and aren’t considering rooftop solar panels, a close-coupled solar hot water system (where the tank is installed on the roof) will help you enjoy energy-efficient hot water.
When to consider a hot water heat pump
Heat pumps do make some noise, however, most are no louder than mild suburban neighbourhood traffic. For many households, they are a more convenient, budget-friendly alternative to solar hot water, as well as to electric and gas systems.
Combining a rooftop solar panel system with a hot water heat pump
Combining solar energy and a hot water heat pump can help you save even more on your energy bills.
With a rooftop solar panel system, you can power your heat pump with clean, renewable energy from your own roof.
Your hot water heat pump can serve as a form of battery for your solar energy, helping you cut costs even further. Here’s how:
Time your heat pump to power up around midday, when the sun is highest
Your heat pump will store free solar energy in the form of hot water
Your household can use hot solar-powered water any time they want, even when the sun isn’t shining
With our 0% Interest Payment Plan, you can install rooftop solar panels and a heat pump today and pay us back over time in manageable fortnightly instalments. The good news is that any savings from future bills can help to offset your repayments.
The information contained in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs and, where appropriate, seek professional advice.