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Choosing a hot water system

For most households, hot water is the largest energy cost and cause of greenhouse gas emissions. Solar, heat pump, and gas systems are usually better for the environment than electric storage. By choosing the right system, you can lower your energy bills, save money, and reduce environmental impact without compromising lifestyle. 

Household size 

The number of people living in your home and your water consumption patterns (i.e., whether you all shower at the same time of day; run the dishwasher, washing machine, and bath at the same time) will determine the size of the system you need and help to identify the best system and energy source for your needs.

Cost 

The purchase cost and operating costs of your hot water system both need to be considered. The energy used by your water heater will impact your energy bill for years to come, so think carefully before buying. Any extra purchase cost of an efficient water heater is usually recovered within the life of the unit. Government rebates are also available on some energy-efficient systems.

Space available 

In existing homes, it may not be possible to install some systems due to a lack of space or a challenging layout.

Existing water heater 

Some existing hot water systems can be easily converted to more sustainable types. For example, the best replacement for the old-style ceiling mounted gravity service is often a roof-mounted solar system, as plumbing usually requires minimal alteration.

Available energy sources

Your choice may also be limited by the available energy sources. Natural gas is not available in some areas, and solar energy may not be ideal in colder climates or shaded areas.

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