KSTP-TV, November 11, 2005

posted Nov 26, 2008, 3:32 PM by Stephanie Hankerson   [ updated Nov 26, 2008, 3:49 PM by Unknown user ]

"High oil prices raise interest in solar heat"

In the past, solar water heaters were popular among mostly environmentally conscious consumers, but as heating oil prices have drastically increased in recent years, they are being purchased by more and more homeowners . . . homeowner Richard Venberg has been saving money at home for years. To be glib about it, it pays off instantly, says Venberg. Small panels help heat his garage and all water in his home, even in the coldest weather. “I think our domestic household water probably runs us $50 a month, and I eliminate $40 of that. A $7,500 system didn’t make financial sense, until natural gas prices soured,” said Venberg . . . Ralph Jacobson of Innovative Power Systems says that the systems pay for themselves at current heating costs in 12 to 15 years. “If they go up more, we’d get down below ten years. Then our market triples again,” said Jacobson. The prices are even less when groups of homeowners buy. This economy of scale has encouraged the Minneapolis Southeast Como Neighborhood Improvement Association to recruit 20 homeowners to invest in the technology. Justin Eibenholzl of the association says they have “a lot of interest from landlords, people on fixed incomes and retirees. In general, anyone interested in rising energy costs and utility bills.” (KSTP-TV, November 11, 2005)