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Section 1: What is an efficient hot water system and why should I install one?

Solar energy is the most energy efficient way to heat your water at home, saving you money and helping the environment at the same time.

There are two main ways to do it: solar hot water systems use direct solar energy to heat water, and heat pumps
transfer heat from the air to heat the water, typically through a gas or electric booster. Depending on your
situation – such as where you live, whether you have solar panels, or how much hot water you use – one of these types of hot water system might suit your household more.

21% of household energy use can be attributed to hot water systems

An efficient hot water system will help reduce your bills

Hot water systems are one of the biggest energy users in the home, accounting for around 21 per cent of total energy use (on average, according to YourHome) This can have a significant impact on household energy bills, but one way to keep these costs under control is to install an efficient hot water system such as a heat pump or solar hot water system.

What we consider to be an efficient hot water system has changed a lot in the last decade. Modern electric appliances such as heat pumps use less energy than gas appliances and can run on renewable energy. As more Victorian households install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems more people can take advantage of solar-generated electricity to bring down the cost of running the hot water system.

Each system installed helps the environment

Victorian households can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by upgrading to a hot water system that uses less energy.

Depending on the type of heat pump hot water system installed, energy reductions of almost 80 per cent can be achieved compared to standard electric storage water heaters. Standard electric storage water heaters use a heating element inside the tank to heat the water, just like an electric kettle. When powered using electricity from the grid, they are responsible for the most greenhouse gases of any water heater and are being phased out for household use, not just in Victoria but around the country.

A solar hot water system uses the sun to heat the water, with any shortfall made up by electric or gas boosting. A solar hot water system can cover up to 60 per cent of your household hot water demand in Victoria before boosting is required, which is water heated without any grid energy use or associated greenhouse gas emissions.

Reviewed 11 August 2021