The senior K's are installing a solar water heater similar to the one pictured here. The pipes get quite hot, even in the winter, and will greatly reduce the need for expending energy to keep the water tank hot 24 hours a day. The installation measures 6' tall, 5'3" x 5'3" wide and is positioned about 10 feet off the ground on the second floor where it will receive full south and west exposure.
Next year they'll be installing about 20x 100W solar panels on the roof. That will bring in enough power in the summer months to completely get off the grid, even sell power back to BC Hydro. Calculating it out, the solar panel installation will pay for itself within 2-3 years. This sort of stuff blows my mind and I can't wait to see how the water heater works out.