When choosing a hot water system, there are so many options now available that it can be difficult to know which one to go for. While electric might be more expensive to run, it can be exceedingly difficult to recoup the upfront costs of going solar. So what should you choose? To help make this decision a little bit easier, here are some of the pro’s and con’s to going electric vs solar:


  • Fairly cheap to buy and install – approximately $1000-$2000 including installation
  • Often more expensive to run than others (at the full rate)
  • Systems utilising off-peak electricity are much cheaper to run but require larger tanks
  • Have indoor + outdoor installation capabilities
  • Have the option of instantaneous hot water


  • More expensive to buy and install (as you will need to purchase the solar collector panels in addition to the water tank) – approximately $4000-$6000 including installation
  • Generally cheaper to run
  • Require a larger tank as sunlight isn’t always available
  • If panels aren’t able to be installed in a location with adequate sunlight, the system will be less efficient
  • Often require an electric booster for times of extended shade
  • Rebates often available through the government

Regardless of the heat source, all tanks are made from similar materials and have a lifespan of around 15 years. For this reason, going solar isn’t always going to save you money in the long run as the product needs to pay for itself within this time. Even at cost price, it can be difficult to see the savings with solar. On the other hand, when replacing an old water system, it is generally cheaper to integrate a new tank into your current system as you’re able to ustilise the infrastructure that is already in place.

If you’re still a little unsure of the best option for you or would like a little more info regarding hot water systems, contact your local plumbing experts at JM Plumbing.