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Calculating Electricity Generating Efficiency of My Solar Water Heater Always Raises a Smile

Posted Sep 22 2008 10:21am

My wife Cat and I live with the smallest carbon footprint possible for a modern couple residing in a city with poor mass transit and cycling options. One area in which we excel (as recently confirmed by an air conditioning salesman) is in conserving electricity. While our methods won’t work everywhere, they have proved quite effective for us. In fact, when annualized, our monthly electric bill never exceeds $90.

It wasn’t always that way, of course. In fact, we used to hover just above $100 per month. Then, we upgraded our home to a solar water heater. What a great decision! It is wonderful. We have had it for more than a year and our water always is hot and our electric bill consistently is $20 below what we used to pay. So, as we enjoy our monthly pastime of calculating electricity generating efficiency of our water heater, or the equivalent thereof, the number consistently tops 20%.

If you own your home or live in a complex which allows for upgrading to a solar water heater, I exhort you to give the possibility due consideration. As to the logistics of having a solar water heater on cloudy days, the unit has an electrical back-up. In our case, we have it set to the lowest possible temperature. Recently, during Tropical Storm Fay, we had no sun for more than 3 straight days. And our water? Mighty comfy the whole time!

Solar water heaters harness the sun very effectively and keep the hot water hot. To learn more about the installation process, check out my very first online video here at Keyboard Culture for a recap of how it went at the Kroehler household.

Fomenting the Triple Bottom Line

Corbett Kroehler


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