February 05, 2008 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
GREENWOOD, S.C. – FEBRUARY 5, 2008 – VELUX® America is introducing a solar water heating system in the United States that has been proven through years of service in Europe.

Tim Miller, president of VELUX America, says that each solar water heating system installed in the U.S. will help to reduce the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. “Solar water heating is another opportunity for individual homeowners to support the green movement in our country while realizing benefits now and for years to come,” Miller says.

“And it represents a profitable add-on business opportunity for entrepreneurial companies that want to get in on the ground floor of an emerging consumer trend,” he says. “VELUX will be providing installer support, training programs, and other assistance to companies in launching or expanding a solar water heating business with programs that will cover aspects including marketing, installation, and service.”

VELUX, long a global leader in skylights and other solar control technology, designed its solar energy roof collectors to be aesthetically pleasing and to integrate well with rooflines while delivering exceptional energy collection capabilities. The units also integrate seamlessly with VELUX roof windows. The collectors are certified by independent testing agencies in Europe (Solar Keymark) and in the United States (SRCC) and installers have completed advanced training to assure reliable installations.

The cost of installed systems will vary depending upon the volume of heated water required in a home. Two to three rooftop solar collector panels will usually be installed and solar hot water holding tanks are available in 80- and 120-gallon sizes.

Miller says that federal tax credits can help pay 30 percent up to $2,000 for a system and that some states and utilities offer additional support resulting in credits that could offset up to half of the cost. This, combined with savings on home energy bills, he says, should result in an anticipated payback period of 3-7 years in most areas depending on geographic location, utility rates and other factors.

Jim Cika, manager, solar products for VELUX, says that the systems can provide up to 100 percent of the demand for heating hot water in a home, with typically up to 80 percent of hot water needs coming, “free from the sun,” while replacing or adding on to an existing water heating system.

The U.S. Department of Energy, in it’s EERE Consumer’s Guide, says that, “On average, if you install a solar water heater, your water heating bills should drop 50%-80%. Also, because the sun if free, you’re protected from future fuel shortages and price hikes.”

Solar energy systems can take advantage of this free energy source throughout the year as solar energy can be produced even at low temperatures. According to Cika, the capacity for widespread use is a particularly attractive feature of the VELUX system. “We us a glycol, or antifreeze solution in our system,” Cika says, “so it’s suitable for use anywhere in the United States, with the exception of some parts of Alaska, which is not the case with all solar water heating systems.”

Cika says that the VELUX system has a much lower system and installation cost than solar photovoltaic (PV) technology. “Basically, our system utilizes low-profile roof-top solar radiation collectors to gather heat. An electronic controller activates a pump to feed the heated solution through insulated tubing to a solar hot water tank. The heat is transferred from the solution, through a heat exchanger, to the water in the insulated tank, where it is held until needed, and the glycol solution, which never enters the water supply, is returned to the collectors to be reused,” Cika says. He also points out that the solar collectors utilize the same proven flashing materials and techniques employed to install VELUX roof windows.

For more information on the VELUX solar water heating system, visit or call 1-800-888-3589.

VELUX is the world leader in skylights and roof windows and is one of the strongest brands in the global building materials sector. VELUX America products are available nationwide through home centers, building material suppliers, lumberyards, and independent door, window, or roofing retailers. Consumers can access complete product information and pricing, and can locate local suppliers and installation information, at VELUX will mail consumers literature on the benefits of bringing more natural light and ventilation into the home and workplace and on skylight selection, and on solar water heating systems. Call 1-800-283-2831 or request via e-mail at