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Listen Up: Let's Talk Solar Hot Water Systems

Although solar hot water systems are used widely throughout the world for domestic hot water (DHW) in homes, they are still struggling to get traction in the U.S. Inexpensive natural gas coupled with the small size of these systems makes it hard for the economics for residential DHW to pencil out.

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But commercial solar hot water heating is a different story. The technology is stable and the panels are extremely reliable. Apartments, schools, recreational facilities (especially pools) and businesses of all sorts that use hot water find it quite economical to install DHW systems. Since these facilities typically use a lot of hot water they can justify the relatively high engineering, storage and control costs. 

Ed Murray, CEO of Aztec Solar, has been selling, installing and servicing DHW systems since the early 80s. On this week's Energy Show, Ed offers up his insights into successfully tapping into the steadily growing market for solar hot water systems in the U.S.

Find more episodes of The Energy Show here.

About The Energy Show

As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don't have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we'll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices. 

About Your Host

Barry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar power expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to become the largest national residential solar installer by the middle of the last decade with over 10,000 rooftop customers coast to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sold the company in 2012.

His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems include Andalay, the first solar panel with integrated racking, grounding and wiring; the first UL listed AC solar panel; and the first fully “plug and play” AC solar panel. His current efforts are focused on reducing the soft costs for solar power systems, which cause system prices in the U.S. to be double those of Germany.

Although Barry may be known for his outspoken work in the solar industry, he has hands-on experience with a wide range of energy saving technologies.  He's been doing residential energy audits since the punch card days, developed one of the first ground-source heat pumps in the early ‘80s, and always abides by the Laws of Thermodynamics.

Lead image: Green microphone via Shutterstock

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