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Reduce your water heating costs with a hot water timer

Reduce your water heating costs with a hot water timer

Published: August 06, 2021 Last Updated: August 16, 2021

Paired with a solar PV system, a hot water timer offers a practical, cost-saving way to help reduce your home water heating bills. This clever little timing device is easily fitted to your home switchboard by an electrician.

How does a hot water timer work?

During set times of the day (usually around midday), the timer diverts the electricity produced by your solar system to power your storage electric hot water heater.

This means your hot water system is no longer drawing electricity at peak tariff throughout the day. The fact that many residents are out during the day has meant that most of the power produced by their solar system has been diverted back to the mains grid. When you have a hot water timer installed, these periods of peak solar power generation when your family is out at work or school are being utilised to heat the hot water for your home.

Rheem storage electric hot water systems

Benefits of installing a hot water timer

  • It allows you to make the most of the often un-utilised solar power generated through the middle of the day.
  • A hot water timer uses free solar energy to offset one of the most costly electrical appliances in your home, the electric hot water system.
  • Setting your hot water system on a timer means it’s not heating water 24/7.
  • Your home is not using expensive peak tariff electricity to heat water.
  • The timer has an override function that allows you to heat the tank from grid power if you’ve had an unusually demanding, high use day.

Is a hot water timer right for my home?

As every household has varying hot water requirements we recommend getting advice from a specialist. Your local electrician can assess your solar hot water system (HWS) plus your water usage habits to provide you with specific advice on whether a hot water timer is right for your household.

Hot water timers work best with electric hot water systems fitted with smaller elements. This is because the solar system will only begin to power the HWS once it generates enough electricity to meet the element power requirements.

For example, a hot water heater with a 1.8kW element only needs the solar system to be generating 1.8kW for heating to start. This compares much better than a HWS with a larger element, 3.6kW for instance, which may require a bigger solar unit or a really sunny climate to generate enough energy to meet the requirements of the element.

In most cases, the element fitted to your current storage tank can be replaced with a smaller one if needed. The smaller element can still heat all the water in the tank, it will just take a bit longer to do so.

Households that are out at work or school for most of the day are ideal for HWS timers as the solar energy your system generates during this time would often just be fed back into the grid. As feed-in tariffs are usually much lower than peak (or even off-peak) electricity it makes sense to make the most of the free green energy your solar system is generating.

If you are in South East Queensland and are interested in reducing your water heating bills contact Fallon Solutions solar and electrical team today at 1300 762 260.

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