What type of Hot Water system is best?

Gas or Electric? Heat Pump or Solar?

What hotwater system is best?

Did you know that an Electric hot water system can make up 30% of your power bill? Few people do… Never the less it is true that the simple luxury of hot water can cost you big, even if it is on the off-peak tariff.

Gas hot water is not much better to be honest… The cost of your hot water wont be added onto your power bill, instead you will be getting a gas bill! And unless you have mains gas running to your property you will have to remain on alert ready for when the gas bottle runs out mid shower on a cold winters morning where all of a sudden you find yourself dashing outside in a towel to switch the bottles over. (I know this from experience living in my old house)

So solar hot water is the best then?

Not exactly, while solar hot water will indeed save you money on your power bill it is not really the best way to utilise your roof space. Unfortunately, a dedicated solar hot water system can be very costly and obviously only heats your hot water…

It actually makes the most sense to have and typical Electric hot water storage system and have a standard solar system on your roof that powers your entire home. What we like to do is remove the off-peak meters and install a timer in your switchboard that will turn your solar on during the day. This essentially turns your hot water into a “Solar Hot Water” with a few added benefits:

  • Excess power not being used by your hot water can be utilised elsewhere in your house or even sent back to the grid for a credit!
  • During a cloudy day or periods of poor weather, your hot water will still heat during the day using power from the grid.
  • Fewer things to go wrong: If you happen to have both solar and solar hot water these are 2 completely separate systems that will each carry their own warranties to worry about.

These timers are a super simple way to ensure that you are utilising your solar in the best possible way. It is literally “Set and Forget” once installed you will have the peace of mind knowing that your hot water is not costing you a cent!

Why Sungrow??

Here at Yuma Energy, we make it no secret that we love our Sungrow Inverters and the reason as to WHY is simply that they are AWESOME…..

As a company, we have literally installed 1000’s of Sungrow inverters ranging from 5kw’s to 15kw’s for residential customers across QLD and NSW, of those installs the failure rates have been so low it seems impossible, here is a very short list of our Sungrow Failures:

2 x Failures due to Lightning Strikes
1 x DOA (Dead on Arrival)

Unfortunately, there is not much we can do about old Mother Nature and when she decides to strike with around 1 BILLION Volts there is not much that will stand up to that sort of abuse…..

With the 5kw Sungrow (SG5K-D) that was dead on arrival, we will admit there is nothing much more embarrassing than having to say to a customer that their brand new inverter does not work…

Especially after we talk the Sungrow’s up so much! The good news was that because the Sungrow’s are so popular and easy to source we had a replacement delivered to our installers the same afternoon and still managed to get their system up and running before the sun went down.

With the dead inverter, we just took it away from the site and handled the warranty claim ourselves so the customer did not have to.

This brings us to our next point… The Sungrow warranty process was AMAZING, we gave them a quick call and after a brief explanation they arranged a replacement for us and that was the end of it.

To make sure our opinion was actually valid our lead installer (and my business partner) James put the question out to the Solar Professionals group on Facebook to find out what the industry really thinks…

As you can see the post was a hit amongst the solar community with over 214 Comments from seasoned industry pro’s… and here are some of what they said: (Dont worry for full disclosure I will post the whole thread down the bottom so that you may review the entire post)
Note: For privacy reasons, we have had to mark out Surnames and display pictures.

Lets start out with comment number one (Which is actually a +1 for the Fronius inverter)

As you can see Kris is clearly a fan of the Fronius, but all of the points he made still make it a hard justification as to the additional cost of installing a Fronius over a Sungrow, so let’s break his points down a little:
1. Reputation – Of course Fronius does have a large reputation for quality so this point is fair.

2. Generous Ratings for different stringing configurations – This has little to no benefit for 90% of our customers as most installs are fairly straight forward… Yes there is some added flexibility for design with the Fronius but this only benefits a small number of customers.

3. Built-in DC Isolator – As an installer, this is great as it makes our job easier… but there is absolutely 0 benefit of this for our customers. (E.g lets make our customers pay extra to make my job easier)

4. Plugs on the bottom of the inverter – This is a subjective argument, while yes I agree the Fronius inverters do look nice and tidy, I also believe that a Sungrow install done by a Professional Installer can look fantastic too (They look even better if you think about the cost savings while looking at it)

The Fronius supporters comment’s pretty much followed the same tune throughout the thread but what was amazing was the overwhelming support for the humble Sungrow Inverters…

The list could go on but you get the point.

Here at Yuma Energy we always ask our customers “Why are you thinking of getting solar” and the answer is always the same… “To save money”

And if our customer’s main goal is to save money we can not honestly justify the additional expense of the so-called “Premium Inverters”