Thank you for your question. First, I must applaud your desire to save energy. Second, I must say I am sorry these big box stores allow these type of products and sales people on their sales floor. Before I say more about your purchase, I want to let you know these type of decisions are why this energy expert service is on our company web site. Very few people really know about all the energy upgrades out there today for the consumer to purchase. Often we find ourselves at the mercy of someone who sounds like they know what they are talking about. If we know little about a product, it is easy to believe whatever claim is being made. Now, to your concern. I would estimate your electric water heater would use approximately 4000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. If you pay $0.12 per KWH that comes out to $480.00 per year to heat your water. This amount may vary based on your personal patterns but this estimate would be on the high end for one person. If you were heating water with natural gas your cost would be considerably less, more like in the $250.00 per year range. Given your electric water heater was costing approximately $40.00 per month and a gas water heater would be $24.00 per month, paying $70.00 for seven years doesn’t make sense to me. Most thermal water heating situations do not have the ability to heat all the water you need because there is no sun at night and on cloudy days. Therefore, you also still have some cost for electric or gas whatever fuel your home has, 25% is a fair estimate. The carrot on many thermal water heating sales claims is “Your hot water is free.” Unfortunately, that just is not true. It could be nearly free, once the system is paid off but there is a good chance within a short period of time after it is paid off, it may need repair or replacement. The sad truth is, in this case, the “free hot water,” costs $70.00 per month! A safe place to find answers for your energy questions is to call your local utility and ask to speak to a conservation representative. They can help you make the best choice and will even come to your home and do a free energy audit. The conservation person will help you know what is the best energy efficiency improvements to make on your home.
Posted in: Conservation Questions