Before considering a solar hot water system, first look for potential heat leaks in your home. These leaks could end up wasting the valuable solar energy used to heat your hot water. Your home's suitability for solar hot water also depends on a number of other factors including your hot water demands and locational factors including shading issues (e.g. overhanging trees, buildings) and your roof's orientation/pitch.
A home energy evaluation is a good first step in determining if a solar hot water system is your best current option to conserve energy in your home. Visit www.efficiencyns.ca for more information.
If you're considering building a new home, you can make cost-effective upgrades when choosing your designs that will make your home Solar Ready. To learn more about making your new home Solar Ready, talk to your builder.
Your home's suitability for incorporating an active solar hot water system depends on the following factors:
- Availability of a southerly-facing roof that is not unduly affected by shading caused by trees or neighboring buildings
- Available space in your mechanical room to hold a solar hot water tank and control systems
- Proximity between where panels are mounted on your roof and the plumbing “pipe run” to the utility room.
- A consistent annual hot water demand
A Few Things to Consider
Purchase and Installation Costs
The cost of your system will depend on how much water you need to heat, which in turn impacts the size of your system, such as the number of solar panels and size of your water tank. The cost of purchasing and installing a typical system can range from $6,000 - $10,000.
Nova Scotia Power does not sell or install solar hot water systems. The Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) is currently the certifying body for solar hot water system installers in Canada. For a listing of Nova Scotia-based certified installers, visit the CanSIA website.
Efficiency Nova Scotia offers a $1250 rebate or 0% financing on certain systems.
Protect Your Shingles and Roof
Before installing a solar hot water system, it is important to ensure that your roofing materials are in good shape. If shingles are in need of replacement, it is a wise investment to do so before installing any solar system. When running piping through the roof, all gaps must be sealed to ensure that the installation is leak-proof. Pipe flashings or pipe boots with adequate sealants are used to secure and seal the roof to prevent leaks.
Making Your Own Electricity
Solar hot water panels provide thermal energy which is used to heat water within your home. On the other hand, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are used to generate electricity. Solar PV systems can be used with our Net Metering program.