Important Update: Duke Energy Florida will continue offering our solar pilot programs during 2015. Please continue to monitor the SunSense webpage for more information.
A new solar water heating system can save you up to 85 percent on your water heating costs. And when you participate in Duke Energy’s SunSense Solar Water Heating program, you’ll save even more: You’ll get a $550 rebate and monthly credits on your energy bill through our free EnergyWise Home program.
SunSense solar water heating program benefits*
To sign up call 888.282.9757, or email: EnergyWise@duke-energy.com for more information.
How to get your $550 rebate*
*Customers are required to purchase a new solar water heater to be eligible for the credits and rebates. A Home Energy Check and participation in EnergyWise Home is required for the Duke Energy rebate. Federal tax credits are currently available through Dec. 31, 2016. Energy savings are estimates. Actual savings may differ from those estimated due to variations in weather, individual energy use habits and home characteristics. Solar water heating systems must be purchased on or after March 15, 2011 to receive the $550 incentive.
How solar water heating works
Solar water heating is a simple setup for plentiful hot water.
How much solar water heating systems can save
Rebate and energy bill credit details
*Source: Florida Solar Energy Center, www.fsec.ucf.edu
Get your $550 rebate: Apply to participate in the SunSense Solar Water Heating program.
Ready to apply for your $550 rebate, save up to 85 percent on water heating costs and earn monthly credits on your energy bill?
You can receive an initial $550 SunSense Solar Water Heating Program rebate. You’ll also receive monthly credits on your energy bill through EnergyWise Home. The amount of credits you earn depends upon your monthly energy usage. You’ll receive maximum credits totaling $30 a year for the required appliances (whole-house electric cooling, heating and water heating) and a maximum $60 a year if you include your pool pump.
Once you receive your rebate, you must:
A $550 credit will appear on your Duke Energy bill within two billing cycles after the completed rebate form is received and approved by Duke Energy.
Vist the Save Energy and Money section of our website.
Yes, there are several different types of solar water heaters. They all operate on the same principal of water heated in the rooftop solar collector and circulated back to a storage tank, but systems differ by circulation method. To find out more about the different types of systems, visit www.fsec.ucf.edu.
Discuss solar system specifics with your solar contractor. Typically, each component has manufacturer warranties. The collector is usually guaranteed for 15 years, the tank for 10 years, and the miscellaneous components for one year or longer. Ask the contractor to provide you with specific detailed warranty information.
Your solar contractor will be able to provide specific details. Typical solar collectors are designed to last for 20 years on average. Storage tanks usually last for 10 to 15 years.
Based on your hot water consumption a new, larger storage tank may be required. Your solar contractor will design the appropriate system for your needs.
All solar systems incorporate a method for storing heated water. Some designs include additional storage in the solar collector. While the sun is only able to heat water when it is out and shining, the water heating system is operational at all times. This is accomplished by the hot water storage and the backup electric heating element.
Prices vary depending upon the system design (type and size) installed. A recent survey of the solar contractor industry indicated prices generally range from $5,000 to $8,000. Comparison shopping is highly recommended.
Typically, water heating accounts for 14 percent of a customer's energy bill. According to the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), a solar water heater could save up to 85 percent of the hot water portion of the monthly utility bill. Therefore, a customer could save up to 12 percent of their energy bill.
Your solar system is an investment in your home. Most home improvements increase the value of your home. A solar water heater also benefits the environment. By reducing your electricity demand, you can expect your system to save more than 40,000 pounds of CO2 emissions over the lifetime of the system.
Contractors with the following licenses can install solar systems,but we recommend that you verify the licenses requirements with your local building department:
Verify contractor licenses at www.myfloridalicense.com or call (850) 487-1395. Contact your local building department.
Most, but not all, jurisdictions require a building permit. Getting the permit should be the responsibility of your solar contractor and should be included in your contract. If in doubt, contract your local building department.
Deed-restricted communities may require prior approval for installation. Florida's Solar Rights Law prohibits any community from denying solar installations.
You will receive your rebate within two billing cycles after the rebate form is received and approved by Duke Energy.
Credits will usually appear on the second bill after the installation of your EnergyWise Home equipment.
Has it been cloudy? Have you used more hot water than usual? If yes, you may need to be sure that your water heater's electric element is turned on. Check your breaker box, or if there is a separate switch that the contractor installed, make sure they are in the “on” position. If this doesn't solve the problem, call your contractor.
You may want to check the temperature setting of your water heater electric element. Duke Energy recommends a set point of 120 degrees or lower. If it is properly set, you can ask your contractor if a “tempering” or “anti-scald” valve was installed with your system. If not, you might want to request they install one. If one was installed, ask the contractor to check the temperature setting as it may be set too high.
If the outside temperature is near or below freezing, your freeze valve may be draining the water out of the collector. This is normal. If this is not the case, call your contractor as soon as possible.
Contact the Florida Solar Energy Industries Association at http://www.flaseia.org or call 1.800.426.5899.
Compare your current bill with your electric bill for the same time the previous year. Since weather conditions impact your total energy bill, comparing consecutive months may not be an accurate measure of your savings. You can access your previous bills online at progress-energy.com.
Total energy consumption should be evaluated. How has the weather changed? Have your other appliances been running more than usual? Are you using more hot water than usual? If you have any doubt about the operation of your system, contact your solar contractor.