Hot water represents the second largest energy consumer in American households. A typical 80 gallon electric hot water tank serving a family of four will consume approximately 150 million BTUs in its seven year lifetime. This will cost approximately $3,600 (at $0.08 per KWH), not accounting for fuel cost increases.
As gas and electricity prices climb, solar looks even more attractive. Many states have tax credits and other incentives. The Federal Government is currently offering a 30% tax credit. If you have invested in a house, your next investment should be in a solar hot water system. The sun is free.