Solar should not be seen as a alternative to gas or electricity, but rather a supplement. Solar cannot totally replace the need for gas or electric heating as there are sometimes days when there is little sunlight. When averaged over a year, a correctly sized solar system can provide 60%-70% of a household's hot water needs. Providing more than this is unadvisable, as too much heat will be produced in the summer. The hot water system system can easily be automated so hot water is guaranteed regardless of sunlight levels.
Apricus solar collectors are much more affordable than many other solar hot water heaters. For a household of 4, the price of a full system may be similar to that of a new electric or gas system. Depending on you location (solar levels) and current hot water usage, the annual electricity or gas saving will differ. However in a normal household that spends 25% of its electricity bill on hot water heating, the full cost of the purchase may be recouped as quickly as 4-5 years in reduced bills. You will definitely make considerable savings during the life of the solar hot water heater. Federal and local rebates and incentives can provide an accelerated return on your investment. Visit www.dsireusa.org for more information.