What is a Solar Water Heater or Heat Pump?

Electricity to heat water in your home is usually the biggest portion of your household energy use and the biggest contributor to your electricity bill. Installing a Solar Water Heater or Heat Pump are effective ways to efficiently heat water and save you 25% or more on your energy bill.

Solar Water Heaters use the heat from the sun to warm up water in panels installed on your roof. During winter or cold spells, electricity back-up is typically used to ensure that the water is heated.

Heat Pumps work like air conditioners in reverse: they take heat from outside air and transfer it to water inside the heater through a heat exchange system. The unit is typically mounted on an outside wall.

See our FAQs for more information about different kinds of systems and installation options.

A typical solar water heater

A typical heat pump system

Why get a solar water heater or heat pump?

It Saves Electricity and Money

Save 25% or more on your electricity bill by upgrading to a solar water heater or heat pump – the best investment you can make right now. See more on the costs and saving benefits at our FAQ section.

Water heating is usually the biggest element of a household’s electricity bill and alternatives such as a solar water heaters or heat pumps can help save over the life of the system. Estimate your energy usage by using this calculator

See the FAQs for information on when a heat pump may be a better option for your home. Heat pumps are typically slightly more expensive than solar water heaters, but may have a better return on investment, depending on your hot water usage patterns.

See our Checklist for buying a solar water heater to help guide you through the process. 

When to upgrade

It’s always a good time to invest in a solar water heater, as they both add value to your property and save you money, but here are two great opportunities to upgrade:
When your geyser fails

Should your electric geyser burst or fail, it would be the perfect opportunity to upgrade to a more efficient water heating system. Preparing in advance for who to call and what geyser would suit your needs will give you peace of mind for when it happens, and a plan for upgrading to solar or heat pump that would save you money and provide hot water for years to come.

Check your insurance policy or contact your insurer to find out what options you have – some insurers offer the option to replace a damaged geyser with a solar water heater or heat pump, allowing the client to pay in the difference between the insurance pay out and the cost of the more energy-efficient water heating system. If you do not have this option, your insurance may offer a cash pay-out for replacing the geyser, which you can use to finance your new system.

When buying a home or renovating

If you apply for bond finance for a new home, or plan on making additions or renovations, then adding the cost of a solar water heater (or heat pump) generally makes good investment sense.

* Every household is different. Check the FAQs for more detailed information on likely savings, payback periods and more. All figures given are only indicative and can change over time.