Solar Water Heating

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Solar water heating uses the sun's energy to provide hot water for your home. System components for cold climates typically include a solar collector, a heat exchanger, and an insulated storage tank. The sun is used to warm a heat transfer fluid (such as a propylene glycol), which passes through the heat exchanger to transfer the sun's heat to your domestic hot water. Types of solar collectors include evacuated tube collectors (pictured here) and flat-plate collectors.  For more information about solar water heating technologies, see the US Department of Energy's solar water heating information.

Residential solar water heating systems often cost less than $10,000, and reduce your water heating bills by 50-80%.

What incentives and tax credits are available?

Federal Tax Credits are available to cover 30% of the cost of a renewable energy system, with no maximum amount. Federal tax credits will remain at 30% through 2019, after which they will slowly decrease and eventually expire on December 31, 2021. For more information, click here.

Montana Tax Credits of $500 per taxpayer, up to $1,000 per household, are also available. For more information, click here.

Low-Interest Loans are available from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality through the Alternative Energy Revolving Loan Program. For more information, click here.

Where can I find more information?

Solar Water Heating information from the US Department of Energy

Montana State University Extension E3A Solar Hot Water Fact Sheets

Photo credit (this page): Liquid Solar Systems