Forget about electric or gas water heaters. A home in Wayne County will now get hot water thanks to the sun, even on cold winter days.
And the homeowner got the new solar system for free thanks to a new effort by Habitat for Humanity in Wayne County.
A solar panel is now perched on top of the home in Waymart and this is what will heat the water for the house from now on.
This is a Habitat for Humanity house, built by volunteers to help a homeowner in need.
Now homeowner Cindy Mills will save even more, up to 40 percent on electricity costs.
"I love it. I can hear the water trickling up in it and it's good thing. It really is," Mills said.
"Simply all we have here is our two pipes that come from the roof," explained contractor Blair Buselli who did the work installing this for free.
And the homeowner didn't have to pay for the system itself because Habitat for Humanity teamed up with an organization pushing renewable energy in northeastern Pennsylvania, called SEEDS of NEPA. They got a grant to pay for it.
"Part of our mission is to promote renewable energy use in northeastern PA and we know that Habitat is dedicated to building energy-efficient homes for their homeowners, so the idea to work with them was a great idea from the get go," said Jocelyn Cramer, SEEDS of NEPA.
"The system was put in free of charge to the homeowner, and they are reaping the benefits even as we speak, as the sun is heating their hot water and hopefully reducing their utility bills," said Mark Graziadio of Wayne County Habitat for Humanity.
Here's how it works: a sensor on the roof indicates when the sun is out, bringing water into the panel. The water is heated up to 160 degrees then sent back to a tank in the basement to stay warm. It stays warm in the tank even on cold, cloudy days.
"The water constantly stays hot. It's a really good system," Mills said.
Habitat for Humanity and SEEDS of NEPA hope to install these on future Habitat home builds.