Solar water heaters land in Florence
December 26, 2010
-- Some Florence residents are hoping the powerful rays of the Pee Dee sun can keep them in hot water.
Ten homes in Florence were recently chosen to receive the solar hot water heaters through a pilot program by Central Electric Power Cooperative (CEPCI), through a grant from the South Carolina Energy Office. The Florence residences are part of a 70-home statewide trial.
Velux, a global manufacture of solar water heaters partnered with Southern Energy Management to install the residential units. The program will help the CEPCI learn more about how solar works. The recipients of the solar heaters will probably save a few bucks.
In a statement from Velux press release, Paul Johnson, the company’s Southeast District Sales Manager, said residents should get a real boost.
“Given that the average household spends 20-25 percent of their home energy costs on heating water, these systems will have a tangible positive impact on families,” read Johnson’s statement. “It’s a win-win situation when you can help people save money on their energy bills and spread the word about solar water heating at the same time. We’re proud that this project is taking place in our home state of South Carolina.”
Velux is based in Greenwood, S.C.
Florence resident William Lifrege was one of the people who received a solar heater. Lifrege found out about the program through a notice in his electric bill and decided to apply for the heater.
“I’m trying to save a dollar any way I can,” Lifrege said. “Everything that I’ve got is on timers, I’ve changed all the light bulbs and all that in the house.”
So far the savings with the solar hot water system has really added up. Lifrege estimates he has saved nearly $200 in the three months since the system was installed.
According to a press release from Southern Energy Management, solar water heating can provide about 75 percent of a typical family's hot water needs, and can eliminate the equivalent of 19,000 pounds of carbon emissions that would be created from heating that water through non-renewable power sources.
More than 25 of the systems will be monitored for a year to track how much solar hot water is produced and how much electricity is saved. The data will give CEPCI valuable information about potential savings for customers on a larger scale.
"We're looking forward to reviewing the data from the monitoring systems to see if solar power can play an even bigger role in meeting the expanding energy needs of our customers in the future,” said Scott Hammond, project administrator energy programs for CEPCI said.
(taken from scnow.com