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Solar power is definitely a big-ticket item and unfortunately you won’t get much change out of $8000, even on modest installations. However the benefits are on-going and well worth it in the long run.
Key points are to ensure a north facing roof section for best results, and to install a large enough tank to supply your household with water for 3-4 days. Living with solar water means that you get in touch with nature. If there is no sun for a few days then you may only be having warm showers.
Ideally, you would turn the power on as a last resort and this will help ensure you get a much faster payback on your investment.
An excellent option here is the use of a “Split System”. It is the preference of Your Local Plumber to install these. It’s where a heat exchanger uses a separate liquid from the storage tank. This stops the panels from getting full of lime scale subsequently reducing maintenance and replacement costs. We’d give it a 7/10.