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The 5 Top Markets for Growing Solar Hot Water

The Tradewinds Aparment Complex with Solar Hot Water

#1. Rental Apartment Buildings.  Most apartment buildings in the U.S. have central natural gas water heating systems. Between tenant showers, washing machines, and dish washers, building owners are flushing a large portion of their rental income down the proverbial drain. If they have the roof space, insolation, and room for a solar storage tank, solar hot water is a no brainer.


Hotel in Spain with Solar Hot Water by Flickr/hola-amic.com

#2 Hotels. When you think of hotel hot water needs, you think of sheets, towels, table cloths, dish washing from room service, and restaurants, not to mention a pool. Margins are that much thinner without a solar thermal system that lasts 20 or more years. In addition, the hotel can promote their environmental stewardship by going solar thermal. Call a manager today and mention the benefits of Free Hot Water.


Laundromats- no-brainer for commercial solar hot water. Photo: Flickr/Kristine Paulus

#3 Laundry Mats. Laundry facilities are an obvious choice for installing solar hot water. Their business is based on hot water … and their water heating bills. A properly sized solar hot water system can reduce water heating bills by an average of 70% over the course of the year. And don’t forget, Free Hot Water’s new pre-engineered systems with multiple collector and tank option make proposals simple.


A nursing home waiting for Solar Hot Water. Photo: Flickr/PhoTones_TAKUMA

#4 Nursing Homes.  Like hotels, nursing homes have diverse needs for solar hot water. It’s a combination hotel, hospital, and restaurant, serving the food, sterilization, and bathing hot water needs of its elderly clients, 24/7. Typically, nursing homes are built on a single floor, allowing for significant area on the roof for a solar thermal system. As Medicare reimbursements continue to decrease, solar hot water savings will enable these businesses to save more of their slimming margins.

A hospital waiting for some Solar Thermal Medicine. Photo: Flickr/Mr. T in DC

#5 Hospitals. Hospitals have the same solar water heating needs as a nursing homes, but their needs are greater in every way.  The good news is that their size typically allows for a huge roof area on multiple buildings, so the logistics for installing solar thermal systems on a hospital may not have the space constraints of a tall apartment complex. While non-profit hospitals may not be eligible for solar thermal tax credits, the good news is that their boards may have a green-minded benefactor who can fund the upgrade along with other energy efficiency projects.


All of these venues–and more–are ripe for solar thermal. It’s not complicated. In fact, Free Hot Water even has pre-engineered commercial systems that can be installed in under a week’s time. Yes, it takes time to get to the decision makers to make the case, and not all will qualify. But show them the numbers first, and take it step by step. Free Hot Water is always here to help.

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3 Responses to The 5 Top Markets for Growing Solar Hot Water

  1. Audrey says:

    Great post Fred! So many businesses could benefit from a solar hot water system. Thanks for sharing!

  2. What about commercial swimming pool heating? There are over 250,000 heated commercial pools in the US. Just a 35% market penetration would be a 15 billion dollar market.

  3. Solar Fred says:

    I agree, Dave, but for some reason, the U.S. government sees swimming pools as a luxury. That doesn’t mean the swimming pool solar heating market hasn’t thrived. I believer we’re the world’s leader, in terms of the number of solar heated pools. But imagine what that market would look like if it did have more incentives. Thanks for commenting.