Did you know that the United States consumes 4.40 trillion kilowatt hours of electric energy per year? That is nearly a trillion more kwh than China. Did you also know that the average American hot shower consumes 4000 watts per day? That makes hot showers the highest power activity most Americans undertake in a day. (Thanks to the website Power SuperSite for this information.)
But what happens when you live in a country where water and fossilized energy are in short supply and your oil-rich neighbors are your sworn enemies? You reclaim water, become more energy efficient and look to the sun, wind and other renewable power sources to meet your energy needs.
Welcome to Israel, where solar water heaters are used in over 90% of homes. But rooftop solar water heaters didn't just happen because Israeli citizens suddenly decided to do the right thing. After the energy crisis of the 1970s, the Knesset in 1980 passed a law requiring the installation of solar water heaters in all new homes.
More from Wikipedia:
"As of the early 1990s, all new residential buildings were required by the government to install solar water-heating systems, and Israel's National Infrastructure Ministry estimates that solar panels for water-heating satisfy 4% of the country's total energy demand. Israel and Cyprus are the per-capita leaders in the use of solar hot water systems with over 90% of homes using them.
The Ministry of National Infrastructures estimates solar water heating saves Israel 2 million barrels of oil a year."
Here are photos of solar water heaters in Israel.
ISRAEL SOLAR WATER HEATERS