New Online Training Course Describes Advantages of Propane-Enhanced Solar Water Heating

WASHINGTON (December 7, 2010)—Construction professionals looking to incorporate solar technology into residential building projects can now take advantage of a new training resource. The free course, offered by the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), describes how solar water heating is an ideal solution for many homes when coupled with a backup propane-fueled tankless water heater.

The course, "Propane-Enhanced Solar Water Heating," provides an overview on the demand for solar energy, market trends, tax incentives, and where geographically solar water heating is most often used. Construction professionals focused on bringing down a home's energy needs can turn to solar water heating as part of a holistic approach to energy reduction.

"Solar water heating offers substantial savings for homeowners. Typically 85 percent can be saved on utility bills over the cost of electric water heating," said Tracy Burleson, director of residential programs for PERC. "Nearly all solar systems require a backup, and propane is the most energy-efficient and environment-friendly solution to lower carbon emissions and operating costs."

The course reviews how a solar water heating system operates, including the storage tank component, the versatility of connecting solar collectors to existing water heating systems, and when a backup system will be triggered to continue heating without disruption. Additionally, the session outlines what size tankless water heater is appropriate for a home, the items necessary to properly monitor the temperature in the solar storage tank, and tax incentives that encourage installation of efficient appliances and green building practices.

To learn more, visit and enroll in the "Propane-Enhanced Solar Water Heating" course, which is approved by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

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