The cost of a solar hot water system installation can range from $2,500 to $6,000+. Pricing varies depending on certain factors such as the scope of the job, the number of solar panels installed, access difficulty and many others.
On average, 21% of your energy expenses comes from hot water usage. Although the upfront cost of solar water heaters is higher than other types, they can provide long-term, energy-saving benefits.
Regardless of whether you want to install a solar hot water system for your home or business, you need a qualified installer for the job. It helps to ask for written quotations from several installation companies to compare prices side by side.
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How Much Do Solar Hot Water Systems Cost?
You can have a split system or thermosiphon system installed depending on your budget and hot water needs.
Heat pump systems
Heat pumps are an alternative option for roofs with limited spaces for solar collectors. Like with a reverse refrigerator, the system works through a heat exchange process. It pulls the heated air from the outside and using it to heat the water collected from the mains.
Heat pump systems can cost about $2,500 to $5,000 per system installed.
Flat plate systems
Flat plate systems make use of solar collectors mounted on the roof. This collector-based solar water heater typically has a storage tank integrated with the panels.
These collectors absorb the sun’s energy and use copper pipes to transfer the heat through to the tank. The heated water is then siphoned down to the system for your daily use.
Expect to pay around $3,000 to $4,000 if you are buying a flat plate system.
Evacuated tube systems
Like with flat plate types, evacuated tube systems use solar collectors. They are designed with two glass tubes or pipes (one on top, and the other at the bottom), enclosing a series of tubes for heat circulation.
They typically cost around $6,000 as they are more efficient when transferring heat.
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Factors that Affect the Cost of Solar Hot Water Installation
Consider these aspects when determining how much you will be charged for the overall installation.
Size of the system
Determining the size of your solar water heater can provide an overview of the cost. For this to happen, consider the number of your house members and how frequent you use hot water.
Consult a reliable installer for recommendations and energy-saving advice. HIREtrades can help you get up to three free quotes from local tradies.
A complete solar hot water system usually has a booster to help increase water temperature and act as a substitute when there is no sun.
Gas and electric-boosted solar water heaters are two common options you can choose. For areas with little to no availability of gas, electric boosters are often installed.
If you live in a colder climate, an evacuated tube system may be more advisable as it easily absorbs heat. Solar companies also charge differently from state to state.
Roof access and capacity
Access difficulty is another factor that influences the cost of solar hot water system installations. The use of more specialised safety equipment to deal with sloping roofs may incur higher fees.
Also, in some cases, amending the roof structure is needed to make it suitable for solar panel installations. Any additional labour required will attract increased costs.
Hire a Solar Hot Water Installer
Hiring a qualified solar hot water system installer needs careful thought and considerations. Whether you want a heat pump or flat plate system installed, verify if the installation specialist is licensed to carry out the job.
Check if your potential tradie has several years of experience in solar hot water installations. Ask for their past projects to see the end result and compare it with the work of other companies. That way, you can easily assess their reliability and professionalism.
Most importantly, they must be insured. If possible, request a copy of insurance to avoid inconvenience and consequential costs in the event of an accident. Always choose a tradie who looks after your needs from initial consultation through to the actual work.
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