Environment New Mexico
The report, Smart, Clean, and Ready to Go: How Solar Hot Water Can Reduce Pollution and Dependence on Fossil Fuels, provides a conservative estimate of America’s potential to use residential and commercial solar water heating. It outlines the savings in fossil fuel, electricity, and global warming pollution if that potential is fully realized. The report is based primarily on a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Environment New Mexico calls on state and federal officials to commit to aggressive steps to encourage the installation of solar water heaters on homes and businesses. Solar hot water is particularly cost effective for large institutions that use a lot of hot water, such as hotels and large laundry operations.
Benefits are also sizable at the residential level. Diego Aragon, who has a solar hot water system in his home, described the financial benefits of the system: “Thermal solar power is a great advantage. This past winter during the cold snap, my energy bill was about $70 compared to our neighbors’ which average about $500 per winter month.”
Arina Caster of Luz Energy Corporation pointed out that “purchasing a solar hot water system is a better investment than buying a new car; the car will depreciate in value as soon as you drive it off the lot whereas there are 40% tax credits for solar hot water and the system will increase the value of your home.”
“Especially in New Mexico, where we have the 2nd largest resource for solar energy in the U.S., it is very economical to install solar hot water systems. In most cases, a 4-7 year payback on investment can be achieved,” added Odes Armijo-Caster, owner of Sacred Power.