Center for Sustainable Energy

A solar water heating system captures the warmth of the sun and uses it to heat water for your home. Unlike solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that collect sunlight and convert it into electricity, solar water heating systems simply absorb the sun’s heat.

On cloudy days and at night, the system works with your existing water heater so that your family has hot water 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

save money

Save Money

Save up to 75% percent on your home's water heating costs.

conserve energy

Conserve Energy

Sunlight is abundant, free, forever renewable and inflation-proof. 

reduce greenhouse gases

Reduce Greenhouse Gases

Reduce your carbon footprint and be part of the solution!


How do solar water heating systems work?

A solar water heating system works in conjunction with your existing water heater to essentially “pre-heat” water before it enters the existing storage tank. Solar water heating systems can work with natural gas, electric, or propane backup water heaters and can also work with tankless water heaters as long as the SWH system is compatible.

how solar water heating systems work
solar thermal collectorsSolar collectors, typically mounted on your home's roof, absorb the sun's thermal energy.
solar thermal collectorsA pump circulates a heat transfer fluid from the collectors through a heat exchanger in your solar storage tank.
solar thermal collectorsThe heat exchanger transfers the sun's warmth to your water supply.
existing water heaterHot water flows to your existing water heater, which provides backup heating when the sun isn't shining.