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Tips for hot water systems

1. Choosing the best system
Check the star rating when purchasing gas or electric systems to show the expected operating costs of the unit. Look for a system that still performs well in the Canberra winter climate (-2 at least).

  • Solar: Generally the most expensive but is by far the cheapest to run. Evacuated tube systems provide excellent performance in overcast conditions and can be used in subzero temperatures.
  • Gas: Efficient to run and a good option if gas is already connected to the premises. New instantaneous systems typically have a 6 or 7 star energy rating.
  • Heat pump: An excellent alternative to an electric element system, using around one third of the electricity. Look for a system that still performs well in the Canberra winter climate (-2 at least).
  • Electric storage: a standard hot water unit and the least efficient way to heat water. If your system is over 10 years old it may be wise to look at a more efficient replacement.

2. Reduce hot water usage
Showers are the largest use of hot water in a household accounting for about 75% of usage in a typical home. Having water efficient showerheads and short showers is a good starting point. Using cold cycles for washing machines will also reduce hot water use.

3. Insulate all pipes and storage tanks
In a cold climate, it is important to limit heat loss by insulating the tank and all hot water pipes. Your temperature valve can also be insulated.

4. Temperature
For storage tanks, get an electrician to set the tank temperature to 600 degrees (instead of 700 or 800) this is an easy way to reduce running costs.

Want more info?...Attend one of the FREE Sustainable Home Advice workshops in your area or call 1300 141 777 to speak to an expert.