Planning a Home Solar Hot Water System

To help evaluate whether a home solar hot water system will work for you, you should consider the following:

  • Your available solar resource -- do you have clear and unobstructed access to sunlight for most or all of the day, throughout the year?
  • The system size -- do you have a roof or area large enough to accommodate it?
  • The economics -- is it worth the investment?
  • Local permits and covenants -- are there any issues with installing a system?


The solar resource across the Ontario is ample for solar hot water systems -- also known as because they can use both direct and scattered sunlight. However, the amount of hot water generated at a particular site depends on how much of the sun's energy reaches it and size of system.

Before you buy a system, you will want to be sure your site has enough solar energy to meet your household needs efficiently and economically. Solar One can perform a solar site analysis for you.

When evaluating your site, you'll also need to consider both the geographic orientation and the tilt of your solar tubes  as both can affect your system's performance.


The economics of a home solar hot water system are determined by both the capital and operating costs. Capital costs include the initial costs of designing and installing a system. Operating costs include the costs associated with maintaining and operating the system over its useful life.

The factors that affect both capital and operating costs include:

  • System components
  • System size
  • Whether a system is for domestic hot water or heating
  • Solar resource at your location (amount of sunlight).

Before Solar One assist you in designing and selecting system components and sizing a system for an existing home, you should evaluate your hot water consumption patterns and try to reduce your home's use. You can start by performing a use analysis, which includes these tasks:

  • Looking at your utility bills over the past year
  • Calculating consumption and peak usage
  • Recognizing consumption trends.
  • What % would you like the system to meet your needs?
  • How many Adult / Children

Knowing these pieces of your usage patters will better helps Solar One create the perfect system to meet your family's solar hot water needs.