Sunday, June 17, 2012

Moving away from Propane - to Solar

When we planned our bermed home, we hoped to use a minimum of propane for heating and cooking.  The sun and Tulikivi have done such a great job, that we never use the radiant heat (only used a cord of wood last winter too).  The propane we consume (about 300 gal / year) is for our hot water and the range top.  Being environmentally conscience and hating the use of fossil fuels, we have been discussing moving to solar hot water.  This is the year!

There still a federal tax credit in place for 30% of a solar installation cost and a rebate from the state of Maine for up to $2000.  These make the move even more tempting.  We have decided on a company to work with - Revision Energy

ReVision Energy is a full service renewable energy contracting company that provides a full range of engineering, design, installation and equipment service for homes, businesses, municipal buildings and nonprofits.They are friendly and so far have been very helpful.

Our original plan of installing a solar hot water system has changed however.  Due to the cost of installation and the fact we are already on the grid, we have opted for a solar electric grid tied system.  Our service comes from CMP which supports these systems.
image from

We will replace our present propane hot water with a super efficient electric one from Marathon.

The Marathon electric water heater offers these advantages:

  • Technologically advanced design is clearly differentiated from short lived steel water heaters.
  • It's the most durable water heater made, with a warranty to match
  • Envirofoam™ insulation is completely free of CFC and HCFC ozone depleting gases. Marathon leads the way in environmental friendly manufacturing, design and operation.
  • Tank comes complete with a factory installed vacuum relief valve, ¾" brass tee and ¾" brass nipple for easy, professional installations.
  • Replaceable brass drain valve
  • All wiring run in conduit for easy control wiring
  • Seamless blow molded polybutene tank with no anode rod required for a corrosion free life
  • High temperature, commercial-grade diptubes for greater durability
  • The filament wound fiberglass outer tank is designed to be more flexible and withstand more pressure than conventional tanks
  • Our unique high temperature dip tube is offset from the concave bottom, creating a "whirlpool effect" which helps prevent sediment build-up
  • Every tank includes 4' of pipe insulation for even greater savings.

So, it looks like we are ready to take the plunge - very anxious to remove one of those propane tanks!

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