Hot Water Energy Saving Tips For Solar Energy Electricity

by | Mar 11, 2020 | Solar

Water heating is one the most significant energy consumers for users of solar energy. It is, therefore, a top priority when evaluating energy saving options. The fact that South Africa receives sunshine all year round makes solar energy a reliable source of electricity to power water heating needs throughout the year. If you are installing a solar energy system for the first time or you are looking for ways to maximize your solar energy, you can consider zero-cost, low-budget, and investment options to save on hot water. Keep reading and let’s explore hot water energy saving tips.

Benefits Of Solar-Powered Hot Water

  • Reduced carbon footprint: Solar-powered hot water is free of carbon emissions – it is a reliable and renewable green energy that is environmentally friendly.
  • All-year round service: Although you may need support heat during the winter, solar energy assures you of hot-water supply as the system works throughout the year.
  • Lower energy bills: One of the benefits of solar energy is a significant cut on the cost of heating water because sunlight is a free resource.
Solar Water Heater

Tips To Maximize On Solar Energy When Using Hot Water

Zero-Cost Hot Water Energy Saving Tips

As the name suggests, zero-cost saving tips will not cost you a penny when saving on your solar energy electricity.

Minimize hot water consumption: Extravagant use of hot water is a common practice especially from the low costs accompanying solar energy. Avoid unnecessary running of hot water. For instance, you can:

  • Turn on the water heater only when ready to shower instead of turning it on and letting the water flow leading to excessive use.
  • Instead of using hot water to wash clothes, where possible, rather use cold water and that will be a double benefit of saving on solar energy and protecting your garments from damage.
  • Showering instead of bathing minimizes water consumption up-to a fifth.

Lower the temperature of your geysers: The ideal temperature for geysers ranges between 550 C and 700 C. According to Eskom, reducing geyser temperature from 700 C can help reduce power consumption by 5%. You can still achieve effective results by reducing your temperature to as low as 550 C.

If you are travelling for a couple of days, turn off your geyser. You don’t have to turn off your geyser when travelling for a day as that might not have a significant impact. You can however, turn it off if you are likely to be out for some days because geysers heat a couple of times during the day and that can increase the rates of energy consumption.

Switch off geysers during peak consumption: Early morning hours and early evening hours usually between 6 to 8 am and 5 to 9 pm respectively are the most common winter peak hours. Switching off your geysers during these times can help reduce load-shedding risks if you are on the national grid.

Low-Budget Cost Saving Tips

You don’t necessarily need to make a significant investment to save on energy. Check out these great low-cost energy saving tips affordable to most solar energy users in South Africa.

Install geyser timers: You can get a good quality geyser timer at a cost of less than R400. You can set it up by yourself if you have some knowledge or you can seek the services of an electrician to install it for you. A geyser timer will switch off your geyser during peak hours to help you minimize the chances of load-shedding that is common during these peak hours. If you have a bit more budget to spend, check out this Geyser Timer from GeyserWise.

Acquire flow-efficient shower heads: Some shower heads can cause a heavy water consumption. Energy optimized geysers can help reduce hot water use by up to 40% and this is a plus for your energy consumption needs. To test your current shower head, place a bucket under the shower for 12 seconds. If you collect anything more than 2 liters you should replace your shower head. 

Install geyser blankets: Poorly insulated geysers lose an average of 10C per hour potentially reducing the efficiency of your solar energy hot water system. Installing geyser blankets can reduce the heat loss by half. Increasing the efficiency of the hot water system. An average cost can be up-to R450 for blanket cover and less than R150 for pipe insulation.

Fix dripping taps: Fix all leaking taps be it from cold water or hot water taps. In South Africa, leaking taps can lead to a water wastage of up-to 18 liters every day. The cost implications are even higher when the water drips from hot water taps because of water heating system energy usage.

Picture of a dripping tap

Investment Choices

If you are prepared to invest a significant budget in your energy saving practices. Have a look at these energy saving choices for solar-powered hot water systems:

Install solar-assisted heat pumps: Not everybody is privileged to have a roof in contact with direct sunlight. There might be trees shading the roof and sometime the roof might not be very suitable for solar energy systems. You can invest in solar-assisted heat pumps that that will be helpful in giving you a sustainable heat supply. The efficiency of a solar-assisted heat pump will get rid of excess solar-collectors heat and store some to meet winter needs.

Install solar water heater: Solar installers in South Africa can help you install energy-efficient solar water heaters that will help make your solar energy consumption optimal. There might be cases where you have a five-year old solar energy system. A lot has changed and there are recent modern and highly effective solar energy water heater systems within budget that can effectively meet your needs.

Ensure geysers are near hot water points: You can increase electricity efficiency by installing your geysers closer to hot water points. Irrespective of their current location, green energy providers can help move and fit your geysers closer to hot water points and you will benefit from optimal solar energy consumption.

Way forward

Get started and optimize your solar energy consumption by actioning some hot water energy saving tips. Keep pace with the rest by acquiring a solar energy system for your hot water needs. If yours is old with declining efficiency, you can also get a quote from reputable solar installers in South Africa for your next solar system.

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