Is Now the Time for a New Solar Hot Water System? 1

Is Now the Time for a New Solar Hot Water System?

The number of solar homeowners in the District of Columbia today reach near a million.  The main reason DC residents have resorted to solar electrical was that the rebate program that’s been available through the DC Department of the surroundings.  While solar electrical installations have become commonplace and widely researched, you don’t hear a lot about solar hot water – until today.  Before this year, DC altered the rules of its solar energy rebate program to incorporate a solar hot water rebate equal to 20 percent of the machine’s price.  As there are no guarantees this lien will continue beyond 2012, many homeowners have a crash course in the basics of solar hot water — trying to determine whether to get in on the home before it disappears.  On June 25th, several Capitol Hill neighbors along with two solar hot water contractors placed a city-wide public meeting about solar hot water technology, installation costs and accessible subsidies.  Materials from the meeting are now offered at  Below are some highlights, but more information can be found on the website.

To kick off the meeting, I provided a few photos of the new solar hot water program I had installed May 2012.  Like solar enthusiasts in the District, I began with solar electrical.  But , I made sure my contractor left enough space for after installation of solar hot water panels.  I managed to save a little cash on the solar hot water setup since the mounting supports for my own solar electric were pre-designed to likewise encourage the solar hot water panels.  I can now test my new (quite large) solar hot water tank to observe how well the sun is doing — it’s been studying at approximately 120-140 degrees based on the time of day.  Goodbye showers!  My family adores the new system because I am not telling them about conserving enough warm water for all to shower.  My old (and little ) gas driven water tank is still intact as a backup, but especially in the summertime, we won’t need to fire that up at all.

Resident Capitol Hill solar professional, Andy Kerr, had a solar hot water system installed earlier this season.  He’s developed a nice presentation describing the initial price tag of his system, the rebates he was eligible for (the DC lien, a 30% Federal tax credit and the selling of solar renewable energy credits), along with the return on investment he expects out of his system.  Because solar hot water systems will need to be sized into the warm water demands you might need, Andy has also developed a spreadsheet letting you punch in your own numbers to figure out the economics of solar hot water.  In his own casehe paid approximately $8,500, but with all the 3 rebates, his cost fell to approximately $3,000 — which works out to an 8 year simple payback, along with a 7.7percent return on investment over 20 years.

Andy’s calculations may get marginally better since DC SUN has established a partnership with two vendors, Solar Energy Services along with Clean Currents.  For each contract signed by DC SUN associates, the two businesses have generously offered to donate to DC SUN’s EmPowerment Fund which assists provide solar permits to low-income families.

Please take a look at the substances on the site and choose for yourself if solar hot water is going to be in your future.  As we suggested with solar electric installations, it is always a good idea to find a number of bids before jumping into a purchase.  If you are on the fence and want more time, we advise that you put your title to the list for a DC rebate while you are creating your decision.  Finally, please join our listserve in the DC SUN page, where you are able to post inquiries and help us start a new dialog on solar thermal.

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Family-sized Solar Car to Race in World Solar Challenge 2

Family-sized Solar Car to Race in World Solar Challenge

Battery Technology | Electric Cars | Solar Power | Transport

Solar Team Great Britain has launched a kickstarter webpage to help fund their layout for entrance in the 2017 World Solar Challenge. Founder Steven Heape directs a team of volunteers from many unique areas, companies and universities focusing with a family-sized solar car to compete in the cruiser class. “Cruiser Class is just about two or more […]


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Last Chance To Get a Solar Rebate in Washington DC?

In the last weekI had four distinct friends ask me what they needed to do to move solar.  I believed it was a fantastic time to send out an update on the DC Rebate Program as well as the economics of solar energy panels.  Here are the basics. Those that managed to get in on this app got a very sizable rebate at the beginning of the program, and those in the end received a good lien, but at about half of the amount initially offered.

  • DC has decided to continue with a rebate application in 2013 (which also includes solar thermal), but again, the lien figures are cut considerably.
  • Present drops in solar panel costs have marginally offset the drop in the DC lien amount.
  • The market for solar energy renewable energy credits (sRECS) stays powerful in DC, meaning that the blend of sRECs, the available 30% Federal tax credit along with the DC rebate continues to create solar a appealing investment. 
  • All indications seem to point to the gradual phase-out of rebates as weapon prices fall and solar panels comes much closer to grid parity (if solar production prices are equivalent to other non-renewable sources).
  • Even in the event you haven’t completely decided to go solar, you ought to place your name on the waiting list for your DC Rebate program.  In the event you decide not to proceed 11, You’re able to decrease.  When applying for the rebate, in case you still have not chosen a contractor, you can indicate on the program which you’re with the DC Solar United Neighborhood (DC SUN) elaborate.  See for more about going solar, finding a contractor and implementing for a DC Rebate.


  • Many homeowners are putting on programs Which Are in the Selection of 3-6kW.  Systems that were installed are seen under $4 per watt.
  • A really simplified price situation for a 4kW system goes as follows — $16,000 strategy cost – that would receive a $2,000 DC Rebate, a $4,800 Federal Tax credit, and much more than $4,200 at sRECs.  Considering subsidies and refunds, out of pocket expenses fall to $ 5,000.  Your electricity bill could be decreased by more than $600 each year.  Your break even point will be around 8 decades.  Locating a builder a little cheaper than $4%, and selling your sRECs on a quarterly basis (instead of a front lump sum) may shave that break even point down to about five decades.
  • Many business will offer leases if you aren’t able to pay for or fund your machine. 

More About the DC Rebate

Looking out the DC Rebate app, it was a bumpy road in terms of aspects of the app.  Solar advocates in DC had to keep fighting annually to ensure that funds that are committed weren’t raided for different purposes.  Nevertheless, in the long run, over 700 projects were financed by the DC Department of Environment (a little quantity of additional rebates, not included in the table below, were issued by the DC Sustainable Energy Utility). 

DC Renewable Energy Incentive Program 2009 -2012:
Fiscal Year Funded
System Type
# of Deadly
Capacity (MW)
Incentive Amount
It looks like 2013 may prove to be the Maximum year in regard to systems receiving rebates.  DC suggested that lien supplies would begin heading out in February 2013, therefore some folks on the waiting list might be getting approval letters.  Assuming there is no other funds available, today could be a fantastic time to get about the Waiting List.
Finally, if you stay in MD, then you could be able to find a country lien .  SREC costs in MD are considerably lower than in DC.  If you are in VA, solar incentives Are Extremely Bad , however you can request the Senate to Repair that with this request .  

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Prepared to Go Solar?

Prepared to Go Solar?

Been considering it for Some Time? Know someone who ought to do it?
The prices are extremely low!
This might be the final year of a grant of this DC Government
Neighbors are getting together buying in bulk!
We are helping each other throughout the procedure. Selecting a professional and helping each other create each decision along the way. Speak to folks who’ve been through the process . Make an impact! Do something real! Become self sufficient!

That is simple….

Go through the process today, you’ll never repent it. There is nothing like this Pepco invoice after moving solar!


Upcoming Meetings

May: Ward 4 Meeting (Petworth)
Monday, May 20th
7:30 to 8:30 PM
Petworth Library (Large Meeting Room)
4200 Kansas Ave NW, Washington, DC 20011.

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