Solar Hot Water to Save Money

Water heating is responsible for as much as 25 percent of an average U.S. household’s annual energy usage. Sen. Bernie Sanders secured federal funds to help pay for energy-efficient and money-saving solar water systems for public housing complexes in Burlington, Barre, Brattleboro, and Bennington. The Vermont project will significantly decrease energy costs while making cutting-edge renewable energy technology accessible to more Vermonters. “At a time when we are spending $350 billion a year importing oil from Saudi Arabia and other countries, it is important that the United States move away from foreign oil to energy independence,” Sanders said. “Programs like this are a major step forward.” In addition to the project that the senator announced Wednesday, the $787 billion economic stimulus bill that Congress passed last year offers eligible homeowners a tax credit equivalent to 30 percent of the cost to buy and install solar hot water systems. Since solar water heating systems can pay for themselves in as few as five years, the incentives will make this technology more accessible than ever before. Also photographed is Nancy Owens, Pres. Housing Vermont.