Wall Street Journal Espouses Solar Hot Water for Skeptics
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Wall Street Journal journalist Gwendolyn Bounds wrote a story on solar hot water for homeowners – what the technology is like, how it works, and the quite impressive economics of investing in solar hot water.
Rather than tackling the environmental benefits of drastically reducing your oil consumption (since in many homes, a solar hot water system can eliminate boiler usage during summertime), the article focused on the great economic incentives for installing solar hot water.
In Maine, these incentives include a $1000 rebate from Efficiency Maine, as well as a 26% tax credit offered by the federal government.
This economics over environment approach is increasingly common – indeed, it’s consistent with the approach Obama took in the State of the Union – and seems to be steering the minds even of those still skeptical of global warming.
In the average home, harnessing the sun’s free energy for daily hot-water needs can be a more practical and affordable bet [than solar electricity]. Water-heating is the third-largest energy expense in most households, after space heating and air-conditioning, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. This year, Hawaii began mandating solar water heaters in most new homes, and cold-weather locales such as New York and Colorado are among the state leaders in installations.
A misconception in Maine is that it is too cold for solar, a fact that is totally untrue! In fact, Maine is far sunnier than Germany, the world-leader in solar installations. Today, a gray January day in Maine, our solar hot water tank at the shop reads a toasty 138 degrees.
Whether your motivations are environmentally or economically driven (or better yet, both!) we appreciate the Wall Street Journal’s efforts in presenting the facts about solar hot water to homeowners.