The alternatives to electric hot water systems are gas, solar and heat pump hot water systems. Although solar hot water systems cost more to purchase and install than other systems, they have the lowest running costs and are more cost effective over time.
Choosing a hot water system
When choosing a hot water system, you need to consider:
- What is the local climate where you live?
- Is there shading on the northerly aspects of your roof?
- What are the available energy sources - is natural gas connected in your street?
- Where will the hot water system be located - indoors or outdoors?
- How many people live in your home?
- How many bathrooms (including ensuites) are in your home?
- What is your hot water usage - how many showers and baths per day, for how long and when?
To get the best value:
- Consider the running costs over time, not just the purchase and installation charges.
- Determine your family's usage and buy a system that is adequate.
- Check the star ratings for energy efficiency - more stars equals more energy efficient.
- Install the system as close as possible to the bathroom, kitchen and laundry.
- Insulate the tank and hot water pipes to reduce energy consumption.
Tip: If you have spa, install a separate system to reduce demand on your hot water system.