If you live in Colorado, solar heating as an option to save energy and reduce your energy bills might not have occurred to you.
Many homeowners are wary of what they've heard about high solar heating costs and the difficulty and expense of conversions. Colorado solar heating costs are surprisingly affordable and present homeowners with great ideas for innovation.
According to studies done by scientists working for the National Renewable Energy Lab, solar heating technology may actually perform better in Colorado than can be expected in any other state. Contributing to this success is Colorado's abundant sunshine, wide temperature swings and low annual heating loads.
There are several ways Colorado homeowners can begin to adapt living spaces to cut heating costs without a total reworking of their home's wiring or energy setup. One obvious place to start is with water heating. In a typical solar water heating system, water running under solar panels mounted on the roof of your house will absorb heat from those panels. That hot water will be piped down to a combination heat exchanger/storage tank, where it will displace colder water, which will then be shunted to the roof to restart the cycle.
Another option for employing solar energy in a Colorado home is through the use of solar-driven space heaters. These ingenious devices are designed to warm smaller spaces in your home with an efficiency far surpassing the older methods of warming an entire room. Solar powered radiant floors, baseboard heaters and radiators are all options for homeowners who might not be in the market for a complete renovation.
Solar water heating systems can be pricey. Unfortunately, at present, they will typically cost more to acquire and install in your home than a conventional water heating system. Colorado homeowners who do install solar water heating systems can begin to notice a drop in their utility bills pretty quickly (in some cases, as much as between 50-80%).
Solar space heaters range in price according to the market where homeowners live and how elaborate the systems they devise are.
Even a partial conversion to solar heating may qualify Colorado homeowners for more immediate rewards. Federal, state and local governments all have an incentive to increase local generation and conservation of energy. Local utility providers are likewise motivated to reduce strain on the energy grid. As a result, homeowners who make the investment in lowering their home energy costs are very likely to qualify for government-based or even privately funded incentive programs.
In addition to utility incentive programs offered in Colorado, the state offers tax exemptions for installing solar energy systems on a home. The state is also doing a lot to help reduce the cost of solar energy by, for instance, participating in the U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative. In one instance, the state tool steps to simplify the permitting process throughout parts of the state, making it easier, quicker and cheaper to permit solar energy and solar heating systems in the state. Locally, residents and businesses can also find grant, loan or rebate programs that can help them finance solar and other renewable energy projects.
(For answers to many of your questions about Colorado homeowners and solar energy systems, click here. )
Converting your Colorado home to a more efficient solar heating system can be a daunting prospect, but with the support of an experienced and qualified contractor, the experienced can be a rewarding and cost-saving one, QualitySmith can help by connecting you to local electrical contractors with the solar energy experience necessary to help you take full advantage of Colorado's abundant solar energy opportunities.