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Old 11-01-2010, 02:57 PM
 
5 posts, read 8,680 times
Reputation: 10

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Hey guys, been going back and forth debating on this question. My brother ended up getting a solar water heater setup last december and ive wanted to also since. He went through spencers and after getting his aps/state/federal money back, he has paid litterally zero for it.

My deal is im trying to see if anyone recommends a business to go through and end up paying the least amount after rebates. Spencers current price ends up being $1059.80 after all rebates and thats from the retail price of $5399. Which also includes a $500 gift card to spencers that i dont want and rather apply toward the heater, but wont let you

From some research, APS says customer has to pay at least 15% of the water heater to apply for the rebate with them, would that count if a loan is paid or do they want to see after all rebates, customer is paying?

I Just cant justify paying 1k out of pocket to save $50/month if i only plan on being in this house for 2-3 years then sell (only advantage would be home value going up)

Thanks for the input!
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Old 11-01-2010, 03:14 PM
 
30 posts, read 40,385 times
Reputation: 18
I have been researching the same thing. I cant provide you any advice yet but I found good info at Energy Savers: Solar Water Heaters

I have been looking into this company but havent determined anything yet. Solar Water Heating Systems | Earth Energy Innovations (http://www.earthenergyinnovations.com/solar-water-heat - broken link) They look legit though.

I just started prelim research. I'll keep you updated. Let me know what you find out
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:11 PM
 
Location: Rural Michigan
6,341 posts, read 13,224,485 times
Reputation: 10507
You should look into heat-pump water heaters. They actually use less energy than solar. For some reason, the utilities and state governments haven't done the math, and they've decided to throw big subsidies at solar and ignore heat-pump water heaters.

GE, Rheem, and Airtap have units available that will pay back in a reasonable time frame, and the up-front cost ranges from $700-$2k (and they qualify for the 30% tax credit)

I have been using an Airtap unit for a little over a year now, and according to my kill-a-watt meter, I'm paying under $10/month for hot water, even at peak (summer) pricing. My Airtap cost $699 before the tax credit.
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Old 11-02-2010, 01:56 AM
 
Location: in transition
164 posts, read 735,391 times
Reputation: 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zippyman View Post
You should look into heat-pump water heaters. They actually use less energy than solar. For some reason, the utilities and state governments haven't done the math, and they've decided to throw big subsidies at solar and ignore heat-pump water heaters.

GE, Rheem, and Airtap have units available that will pay back in a reasonable time frame, and the up-front cost ranges from $700-$2k (and they qualify for the 30% tax credit)

I have been using an Airtap unit for a little over a year now, and according to my kill-a-watt meter, I'm paying under $10/month for hot water, even at peak (summer) pricing. My Airtap cost $699 before the tax credit.
I agree with PP: consider heat pump WH. We put in an Airtap as well (uses existing tank). Cheaper than solar, would pay off in your 2-3yr timeframe, and IMO putting solar panels up for water heat could hurt resale, depending on the neighborhood. Some folks will love it, some hate it, but just like a pool you're guaranteed to kill a section of potential buyers -- something I'd avoid like the plague right now. Since you know you are planning to sell in a couple years I wouldn't go solar, maybe consider a hybrid or heat pump, or with that short lead time, just hold off altogether. If the potential buyers or their agent aren't familiar with hybrids, that could kill a deal, too.

Aside: Selling our last home a buyer's agent apparently had been telling their client our $5K remote window blinds system was fixed blinds just "for decoration" even though we left the remote sitting out. Agents aren't known for admitting they don't know what they're talking about and like to pretend they previewed the home and are experts on it . Point: Anything novel is likely to get misrepresented.
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Old 11-02-2010, 04:38 AM
 
537 posts, read 1,422,656 times
Reputation: 536
Look at the heat pump water heater. Simpler and less expensive.
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Old 11-03-2010, 02:15 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
3,515 posts, read 3,337,687 times
Reputation: 6399
Quote:
Originally Posted by choski View Post
Hey guys, been going back and forth debating on this question. My brother ended up getting a solar water heater setup last december and ive wanted to also since. He went through spencers and after getting his aps/state/federal money back, he has paid litterally zero for it.

My deal is im trying to see if anyone recommends a business to go through and end up paying the least amount after rebates. Spencers current price ends up being $1059.80 after all rebates and thats from the retail price of $5399. Which also includes a $500 gift card to spencers that i dont want and rather apply toward the heater, but wont let you

From some research, APS says customer has to pay at least 15% of the water heater to apply for the rebate with them, would that count if a loan is paid or do they want to see after all rebates, customer is paying?

I Just cant justify paying 1k out of pocket to save $50/month if i only plan on being in this house for 2-3 years then sell (only advantage would be home value going up)

Thanks for the input!


Are you gas or electric?


If gas, stick with that, ROI sucks for those with gas water heaters.


If you're electric, I would consider adding a timer and a heater blanket as its going to cost less than $100 and save you a huge chunk of coin over the long run.


I'm a much bigger fan of solar electric/PV than water heaters, which constitute only a small portion of overall electric usage.
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:09 AM
 
2,879 posts, read 7,335,223 times
Reputation: 1174
I noticed SRP will not rebate on tankless electric, because they only save 5%. I think the blankets are a farce, that could potentially void your warranty--in fact I've read that on the side of a tank unit, that I installed. I would look at tankless gas.
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Old 11-06-2010, 02:48 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
3,515 posts, read 3,337,687 times
Reputation: 6399
Quote:
Originally Posted by khuntrevor View Post
I noticed SRP will not rebate on tankless electric, because they only save 5%. I think the blankets are a farce, that could potentially void your warranty--in fact I've read that on the side of a tank unit, that I installed. I would look at tankless gas.

The blankets are something that even the utility companies recommend and considering how dirty cheap they are, they could very well be worth it, or any other sort of insulation that helps the unit maintain heat better. I can't think of a new water heaters whose warranties would be voided by using a heater blanket, its possible with much older ones, but then again, you probably don't have a warranty as it is.


A quality heater blanket can knock of 10-15% off water heating costs, a timer can throw in an additional 15-25%, so its not a bad deal at all considering the two together will cost(or should cost) less than $150 installed.
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:36 AM
 
2,879 posts, read 7,335,223 times
Reputation: 1174
Water Heater Blankets
"some newer models say specifically to not use one." The one I was installing was an Orchard Supply Hardware model, and that was in 1991. Part of the reason is that if they are installed improperly, the pilot can ignite them. Disabling one of the two elements in an electric is another method. Or just keep it on the vacation setting. The last one I put in cost me about 150 inc. parts and my labor. I had the same warranty on the tank that you get when you pay the sub, sub-contractors at HD 300 to put one in.
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Old 11-06-2010, 07:58 AM
 
Location: in transition
164 posts, read 735,391 times
Reputation: 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by choski View Post
Hey guys, been going back and forth debating on this question. My brother ended up getting a solar water heater setup last december and ive wanted to also since. He went through spencers and after getting his aps/state/federal money back, he has paid litterally zero for it.

My deal is im trying to see if anyone recommends a business to go through and end up paying the least amount after rebates. Spencers current price ends up being $1059.80 after all rebates and thats from the retail price of $5399. Which also includes a $500 gift card to spencers that i dont want and rather apply toward the heater, but wont let you

From some research, APS says customer has to pay at least 15% of the water heater to apply for the rebate with them, would that count if a loan is paid or do they want to see after all rebates, customer is paying?

I Just cant justify paying 1k out of pocket to save $50/month if i only plan on being in this house for 2-3 years then sell (only advantage would be home value going up)

Thanks for the input!
I think you actually answered your own question: you WANT to go solar but you can't JUSTIFY the cost. SO don't do it. As to whether the rebates "would that count if a loan is paid" I hope you aren't thinking about taking out a loan to do this? I am all for reducing our energy footprints, but with only a 2-3 year horizon it's unlikely ANYTHING is going to pay for itself. As for increasing home value -- don't count on it in this market (and don't expect a miraculous change in the market it 2-3yrs) and anything you do may kill a deal as much as help you. I also agree with the PP that if I was putting solar panels up they'd be PV not water heater.
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