This is part of continuous debates that can get overly chewed on when
talking about costs and appropriateness based on specific installation.
Everybody will have their own opinion and specific concrete solution.
    It is useful for me to look first at the macro-perspective of moving
away from carbon and combustion based heating systems.  This obviously
favors the solar hot water system.
    It is difficult for most people to really understand the long term
savings that can be realized only with a larger up front investment of solar
systems.  Not to mention savings realized from less pollution and climate
problems, etc. Its just not a habit of us Americans.  We are so trained to
take advantage of the cheapest short term solution.
    There is not a wide range of ³perfect² solutions out there so we are
left with doing the best with what we have.
    We should always remember the largest savings we can possible realize is
by using less.  This in turn downsizes our system requirements.

Good Luck,
Ben Graham 

On 4/23/08 5:10 PM, "Michelle Smith Mullarkey" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Hi,
> I have a friend who is debating between installing a solar hot water system,
> or a pellet stove, and I would like to ask VGBN member's opinions.
> Could you please include vendor contact information with your suggestions, and
> references of home owners with either systems, or both?
> Lastly, please feel free to respond to "[log in to unmask]"
> <mailto:[log in to unmask]>  directly, and/or to "[log in to unmask]"
> <mailto:[log in to unmask]> - not "[log in to unmask]"
> <mailto:[log in to unmask]> .
> Many thanks!
> Michelle

Have a conversation today about the change you want to see in the world.

Ben Graham
Natural Design/Build
SpiralWorks Center for Integration

Integrating Structure and Nature
Timberframe/strawbale/woodchip-clay/clay plasters & floors