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USING SUNSHINE
TO HEAT & POWER OUR HOMES

Solar energy has a variety of practical and cost-effectiveapplications in today's homes:

Solar pool heating systems heat pool water to extend the swimming season and eliminate pool heating costs.

Solar hot water heaters can replace existing conventional water heaters and can easily be paired with radiant panel flooring, thereby reducing utility bills

Photovoltaic cells (or PV cells) are solar panels that have no moving parts, yet they convert sunlight directly into electricity to be used to satisfy all of a home's electricity needs.

Solar Pool Heating

Solar energy is used more for heating swimming pools than for any other single use, with over 300,000 pools heated by solar in the U.S. 9

Solar pool heating equipment is so reliable that warranty coverage for the products far exceed that of automobiles and household appliances. 2

Solar pool heating payback can be as low as two years and it can extend the swimming season by several weeks without additional cost. Many homeowners have regretted the purchase of a conventional pool heating system after receiving their first utility bill. 3

Solar Hot Water Heating

The U.S. spends more than $13 billion-a-year on energy for home water heating. That is the equivalent of 11.4 barrels of oil per household, more than the amount of oil burned by a medium-sized automobile driven 12,000 miles. 1

Water heating accounts for approximately one-fourth of the total energy used in a typical single-family home. An electric water heater is the single biggest energy user of all appliances in the home. 1
Of all of the major types of water heating systems, solar energy systems offer the biggest potential savings to homeowners- with owners saving 85 percent on their utility bills over the costs of electric water heating. 1

When a solar hot water heating system is included in the financing for a new home, the typical cost of the system ranges from $13 to $20 month and because the system is included in the home's mortgage, the homeowner can take advantage of a federal income tax deduction. 1 At least nine states now have lenders which offer "energy mortgages". 8

Of the over 1.5 million Americans who have invested in solar hot water systems for their homes and businesses, over 94% consider the investment a wise decision. 3

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Footnotes

1.Sklar, Scott and Kenneth Sheinkopf. ConsumerGuide to Solar Energy. (Ill., Bonus Books, Inc.: 1995).
2.Using Solar Energy to...Heat Swimming Pools.SEIA brochure.
3.Solar Thermal Water Heating. SEIA brochure.
8.
9."Building Interest in Solar Energy",Solar Industry Journal. Fourth Quarter, 1996.

Written by: Solar Energy Industries Association

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