Solar Power or Solar Hot Water? Which should you start with?

Solar is often associated with solar power (PV), where the sun, a natural energy source, is used to generate and provide electricity for your home.

However, solar hot water is actually more efficient and a fantastic way to reduce your energy consumption. More and more Australians are realising its benefits, as they take advantage of Australia’s abundant sunshine to heat water, rather than rely on the grid.

In this article, we will explore which technology (solar power or solar hot water) you should start with., Also, and you will learn how both systems can actually work together to deliver great benefits for you and your family.

Why you should start with solar hot water

If you’re looking to go solar, a solar hot water system is a good start. Why? Because it will help reduce the amount of energy you use in heating water, which accounts for around 25% of the average Australian household’s energy costs1. So, installing solar hot water could result in significant energy savings for your home.

Solar hot water works like a solar battery, in the sense that it captures energy from the sun (to heat water) and stores it for later use. Many Solahart customers have found that installing solar hot water first has been beneficial in helping them substantially reduce their energy consumption.

Solar hot water collectors are more efficient than solar power panels. In fact, these collector panels typically take up just ⅓ of the roof space needed for an equivalent size solar power system.

Also, by switching to an energy source that’s clean and green, like solar, you can help reduce your carbon emissions and lead a more sustainable lifestyle. For example, replace your electric water heater with a Solahart, and you could save up to 1.6 to 2.6 tonnes of carbon emissions per year2, which is equivalent to taking a small car off the road.

Why you should then add solar power to save even more

Starting with solar hot water doesn’t mean you can’t have solar power as well. Once you have solar hot water to reduce your energy consumption, you can then add solar power to start producing your own energy and save even more. In many cases, you can install a smaller solar power system, as household energy use is lower because a solar water heater is already in place.

Having both solar technologies could help reduce your reliance on fossil fuels in favour of one of the most abundant, consistent sources of energy we have available: our Australian sun. 

Installing solar power together with your solar hot water system works hand-in-hand to deliver maximum savings for you and your family. This is particularly important during these uncertain times, as we spend more time at home.

However, in most Australian homes with PV, a large proportion of the energy produced by solar power panels is sent back to the grid because it’s generated when it’s not needed, i.e. the middle of the day.

Adding home battery storage to a new or existing solar power system allows you to store your unused energy to use:

  • At night
  • On low sunlight days
  • When utility rates are more expensive
  • During blackouts

Battery storage is a smart way to offset your electricity costs as you maximise your solar energy usage and minimise your reliance on the grid.


So, there it is; your quick guide on the types of solar technology available, which you should start with, and how they work together to deliver maximum savings.

Solahart is the only national company that can provide you with expert advice on all three technologies (solar power, solar hot water and battery storage). With so much conflicting information out there, it’s hard to know where to turn. We are here to make it easy for you to make the right decision with honest, tailored solutions for you and your family.


Looking to get started with solar?

Before going solar, there are some key factors to consider, including your family size, energy usage patterns and large appliances in your home, i.e. dryer, washing machine. Your local Solahart Dealer can assist you in choosing the right solar solution for your home. 

Solahart Dealers can estimate how much you could save with solar, thanks to our proprietary  Savings Calculator. Our Dealers are trained to use the system to take you through some assumptions on your energy usage patterns, understand your needs and consider the site conditions to give you an idea of how much you could save.

To organise a safer home assessment, get in touch with your local Solahart Dealer by filling out the contact form below or calling 1300 721 984.

Looking to get started with solar?

Contact Solahart today on 1300 721 984 to find out more or enter your details below to get a free quote:

The following errors were found:



  1. as at 13/05/2020.
  2. ^Greenhouse Gas Emissions savings of up to 1.6 to 2.7 tonnes shown is based on Australian Government approved TRNSYS simulation modelling of a Solahart 302L and using a medium load in Zone 3 and the Scope 2 and 3 electricity emissions factors for purchased electricity by end-users published in the 2018 July edition of the National Greenhouse Accounts Factors handbook, and apply when replacing an electric water heater. Any savings will vary depending upon your location, type of Solahart system installed, orientation and inclination of the solar collectors, type of water heater being replaced, and hot water consumption.