Both electric and gas water heaters depend on fuels where a solar hot water heater merely depends on the intensity of the sun. Since sun light intensity varies there is also the option of using gas or electric water heaters as a booster system in conjunction with a solar hot water heater. In either case the use of a solar hot water will lower energy resource consumption.
Some local and state governments offer incentives for installing solar water heater. These incentives vary and should be researched for your area. Energy companies also give incentives to residents to install solar technologies since solar systems decrease the demand of energy. This is especially crucial during peak loads. Contact your energy provider to see what incentives they might offer.
"It is every man's obligation to
put back into the world at least the
equivalent of what he takes out of it."
Solar hot water heaters offer benefits beyond that of economic gain. By reducing of electricity and gas consumed, solar water heaters help to reduce pollutants such as CO, CO2, SOx, and NOx. The dependence on foreign oil supplies is also alleviated as energy demands are decreased. After the payback period of the solar water heater, water heating only costs as much as maintenance of the system. Maintenance includes an inspection of the system every three years and minor repairs based on findings from inspections. At this point money will be saved and energy costs for the rest of the systems lifetime. A solar water heating system has a lifespan of up to 25 years. Another advantage, assuming a non-booster heating system, is that water heating costs will have no variance on the market price of energy.