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Why are Apartment Buildings Missing Solar Hot Water Savings?

Great view. But where’s the solar?

If you look at a city skyline with all of the apartment buildings, you’ll see a lot of flat rooftops with nothing on them except a lot of sun, and that’s too bad.

It’s not a too bad that there’s a lot of sun, but that there are very few solar hot water panels collecting all of that sun and providing free hot water for all of those apartment units underneath that roof.

Let’s consider all of the hot water uses in an apartment building complex:

  • Showers and bathtubs. Not only does each unit have a shower, but there’s often more than one person taking a shower or bath in each unit.
  • Dishwashers and dish washing. If the apartment units have dishwashers, that’s another daily load, especially for apartment units that have couples and families. Even if there is no dishwasher, people will still often wash their dishes in hot water.
  • Laundry machines. In some apartment complexes, there are community laundry rooms, while in other condominium apartments, each unit has a separate washer and dryer. Once again, apartments with families or couples are going to be heaviest hot water users.
  • Pools and Jacuzzis. Many buildings have pools and Jacuzzis that are heated. That’s a lot of hot water in use, especially in warmer climates and/or in indoor pools, which may be in use all year round.

Every day, 365 days a year, condominium and apartment dwellers are using gas-fired or oil heated hot water for the above applications. These applications will never stop, nor will they get less expensive. Utility costs for gas and oil and electric hot water systems will only go up in the coming years, but there is good solar hot water news:

State incentives for solar are more generous than they’ve ever been before, especially in California. In addition, apartment building owners can take advantage of the 30% Federal Tax Credit and other tax benefits.

How much a solar hot water system costs for your condo building or apartment complex will depend on many factors, such as the number of residents and apartment units, not to mention the number of dish washers or other building hot water needs.

If you own or manage an apartment building in California or anywhere, don’t assume solar hot water is too expensive.  Instead, contact us for a solar quote. It’s free, so the only thing you have to lose by getting an estimate is a bit of time.

At best, you’ll find out that you’re going to save a lot of money. At worst, you’ll have valuable cost information that you can use to benchmark yourself for the future.

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