SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Solar Initiative (CSI) - Thermal Program is encouraging Californians to take the next step in going green by installing solar water heating.

The four program administrators — California Center for Sustainable Energy® (CCSE) in the San Diego Gas & Electric Co.® territory; Pacific Gas & Electric Co.® (PG&E); Southern California Edison Co.® (SCE); and Southern California Gas Co.® (SoCalGas®) — have launched a statewide outreach campaign to educate the public about solar water heating technology and spread the word about the rebates that are available through the program.

Customers of the four investor-owned utilities in the state who heat their water with electricity, natural gas, or propane can be eligible for rebates under the program, which offers cash rebates of up to $1,875 for solar water heating systems installed in single-family homes and up to $500,000 for systems installed in commercial or multifamily buildings. Increased rebate levels are available for qualified income-eligible single-family and multifamily housing natural gas customers.

“Customers who are looking to save energy and money over the long-term would want to consider solar water heating,” said David Rubin, director, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. “It’s an environmentally-friendly improvement to your home or business that can also reduce your monthly energy bill. We’re very excited to be able to support our customers who are looking to ‘go solar’ with this technology.”

Typical solar water heating systems reduce the amount of energy needed to produce hot water by working as a companion system with a current water heater. They capture solar energy and use it to heat water. The solar-heated water is held in a storage tank until it is needed to replace the hot water pulled from the conventional water heater for use in sinks, showers, baths, dishwashers, and washing machines.

There are requirements that must be met to qualify for a rebate under the program, and factors such as how much energy the system can displace will affect the amount of rebate that can be received. The CSI-Thermal Program rebate levels decline in a series of four steps based on how much has been paid out over time, so those who act the soonest will benefit the most.

“This rebate encourages home and business owners to take the next step in energy conservation and efficiency, and helps build a sustainable future for California,” said Andrew McAllister, managing director of CCSE. “The time is now to learn more about solar water heating and the CSI-Thermal Program.”

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Publication date: 04/23/2012