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Solar for Pool heating.

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Joined: Apr 2 2003

The rise in gas prices has bumped the pool heating issue from the back burner to the front for me. I made a fairly hasty (for me) decision on a product last week because it met all my requirements and the company checked out. As this is their slow season, they are installing it tomorrow!

I'm going to be getting a Fafco system that has thin 5-4'x5' panels hooked together, located on the low rise of a peaked atrium model. Panels are low profile and should not be visible from the street. Cost is roughly $5500 (after $1000 manufacturer rebate). I have a foam roof and have been told there will be no roof penetrations except for tie-ins to the roof edging lumber. The weight of the system itself does not appear a problem.

I'd like to hear what other people have done. What are other owners in Eichlers with heated pools doing? Those with solar heating, can you say what savings you actually realized?

Cheers.
Jake

eichfan at rawbw dot com

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Joined: Aug 28 2003

Hi Jake,

We took a tour of homes with solar electricity that were inspiring. Virtually all of the power needs of these homes were generated with solar panels on their roofs.

We have just had two different solar electricity companies bid on systems for our 1,400 sq. ft. flat roof Eichler. These systems are the type that hook into the P.G. and E. grid so you can run your meter backwards. Like you, one of our requirements was that the panels not be visible from the street. This decreases their efficiency a little but we feel its worth it. Unfortunately, the quotes we received were twice what we had anticipated and would take about 12 years to pay for these systems even after the federal rebate. The state of Calif. has discontinued their rebates.

So, for the time being we are continuing our research into other more affordable solutions to this problem as well as saving money for the eventuality of installing these solar panels. Any information about solar panel installation/contractors that chatterbox lounge readers have would be greatly appreciated.

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Joined: Jun 28 2003

From what I've been told, there are also some excellent financing available along with some federal government rebates.

Friends installed a Solar System on their roof in San Carlos (they have a craftsman style home) and during the summer the system was running their meter in reverse.

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