Solar hot water systems buying guide

Solar hot water is now big business, with dozens of manufacturers and hundreds of retail suppliers all keen to get your custom.
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  • In addition to the federal government's Renewable Energy Bonus Scheme (REBS), which provides eligible householders with a $1000 rebate for installing solar or heat pump hot water systems, most state governments also offer rebates. These government financial incentives are generous, but they have lot of conditions attached - so be wary of ads implying solar hot water can be nearly free.
  • Heat pump and solar hot water systems are great for the environment and will reduce your energy bills, but they usually take several years to pay for themselves.

Solar hot water is now big business. There are dozens of manufacturers and hundreds of retail suppliers, all keen to get your custom. You can choose from several types of system, each with its pros and its cons. And each supplier thinks their system is the right one for you. So how do you decide?

We asked manufacturers for their recommendations for a typical Sydney house, and also sent a Sydney home owner shadow shopping for a new solar hot water system to see what types of system are around and what deals are offered. The quotes varied considerably in price (from about $4000 to nearly $10,000).

It pays to do some homework first, so you can understand and compare quotes. You should:

  • Understand what types of solar hot water systems are available.
  • Know what financial incentives are applicable.
  • Have an idea of what restrictions might apply to your home, such as the amount of sun your roof gets.
  • Know what questions to ask the supplier when they come to give the quote.

Please note: this information was current as of August 2008 but is still a useful guide to today's market. 



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