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Way OT: Anyone have a Schuco (or other brand) solar hot water heater?
Posted by: rz
Date: February 19, 2010 08:33PM
Just had a salesman come to our house to give a presentation on the Schuco solar hot water heater system. Not a really high pressured sales pitch, and even though the guy said he'd give us a discount for signing up tonight, he said he'd agree to give us until next Wednesday to decide and he'd still give us the discount.

I've Googled Schuco, and they seem to be a fairly reputable company from Germany who have been in the solar business for almost 60 years. I cannot find a single bad thing written about the company or their products, although I also couldn't find any real "user" reviews. I did find several "green" related sites that seem to say fairly positive things about them.

Living in Florida (the Sunshine state), I don't think there would be any issues about not enough sun. And their installation of the product supposedly meets the hurricane wind codes. We're eligible for a 30% Federal Tax Credit, plus about 6% more in local credits. If we lived in CA, we'd be eligible for at least 60% in state and Federal Credits.

Based on our average power bill, and what he claimed was the average amount of power used by a hot water heater, it looks like the break-even point on the cost of the unit would be about 5 or 6 years. And if we applied the tax credit directly to the cost (financed at 7.99% for 7 years), we'd supposedly actually be saving money every month. Or in other words, the amount we'd save on our power bill each month would be more than the monthly payment.

So, does anyone have one of these units, or know anyone with one? Any comments?
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Re: Way OT: Anyone have a Schuco (or other brand) solar hot water heater?
Posted by: testcase
Date: February 19, 2010 08:36PM
So do it!
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Re: Way OT: Anyone have a Schuco (or other brand) solar hot water heater?
Posted by: WHiiP
Date: February 19, 2010 09:41PM
This is of interest to me as well.

Does that system use your existing hot water heater, or, do they install one of their own? How much was their quote? Just ballpark it, please...



Bill
Flagler Beach, FL 32136

Carpe Vino!

Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire.
— David Rains Wallace
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Re: Way OT: Anyone have a Schuco (or other brand) solar hot water heater?
Posted by: Kiva
Date: February 19, 2010 09:52PM
Quote
rz
Just had a salesman come to our house to give a presentation on the Schuco solar hot water heater system. Not a really high pressured sales pitch, and even though the guy said he'd give us a discount for signing up tonight, he said he'd agree to give us until next Wednesday to decide and he'd still give us the discount.

as far as this part, I imagine he'd give you the 'discount' whenever you signed up. and if he wont give it to you, have them send out some other salesman. So, don't feel rushed. In this economy, people who want to spend $ are in the driver's seat, generally.

Is it portable? If you move, can you take it with you? If you're financing it, 7.99% seems outlandish given today's interest rates. Somebody is making a bundle on that deal. Do you have a HELOC you can use to pay for it instead of their rip-off financing?

Do you currently have a gas or electric water heater? Their savings comparisons may be with a electric unit.

overall, sounds cool...

kiva



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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/19/2010 09:53PM by Kiva.
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Re: Way OT: Anyone have a Schuco (or other brand) solar hot water heater?
Posted by: rz
Date: February 20, 2010 02:47PM
System uses its own, supposedly very efficient tank. He said the average HWH loses 1 degree every hour, where there's loses 1 degree in a day. Quote was around $11K. Tax credit would be $3,300, so actual cost is around $7,700. Claim is that we'll save on the order of about $110/month on our bill, so the break even is between 5 and 6 years. My wife still isn't convinced that 30% of our electric bill goes to heating water.

It is not portable. We just refinanced the house, so doing a HELOC is out of the question right now. And I don't think 7.99% is that much of a ripoff.

We currently have an electric unit. I had been thinking about replacing it with a tankless unit, which would also save money. If we wanted gas, we'd have to pay to get a line run to our house.

One thing I did find out is that there's a possibility our electric company may have an incentive if we go solar. I'm going to call on Monday and find out. I think that would be the tipping point. It would be a monthly credit. If we could get that, I think we'll go for it. I'll report back.
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Re: Way OT: Anyone have a Schuco (or other brand) solar hot water heater?
Posted by: billb
Date: February 20, 2010 03:40PM
$110 / month off the electric bill seems high.
I was quoted savings of $800.00/yr for an average family of 4.

Local HVAC/Plumber .

Same 5 to 7 year payback and that's up here in New England.
Total cost before tax credits was about $8,000. Electric back-up, iirc.
System wasn't from Europe (that I remember) and he wasn't also doing financing.

Was he a salesman for a local company ?
I'd talk to whoever I called for Heat /Air problems.

Talked to my guy one day working at the house next door and he just mentioned my house was facing perfect for a roof or ground panel system.
Says he keeps getting more and more calls.


Solar hot water sales here dropped off many years ago when all the tax credits went away.
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Re: Way OT: Anyone have a Schuco (or other brand) solar hot water heater?
Posted by: davester
Date: February 21, 2010 01:00PM
If you're anywhere near Gainesville you should call up Tom Lane [www.ecs-solar.com] , who is a solar water heating god. The Schuco sounds like a good system but there are others out there and with solar hot water the most important part is the installation, not the parts.

Also note that the schuco systems look to have full-blown glycol anti-freeze protection. That adds a lot of cost and complexity to the system but in many if not all parts of Florida would be completely unnecessary and therefore a waste of money. You definitely need to get a second opinion and/or talk to the technical person, not the salesperson.

Solar hot water is a no brainer if you are in Florida and using electricity to heat water. However, you need to make sure you get the right system, installed by someone with years of experience.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/2010 01:12PM by davester.
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