California OKs $350M in Solar Hot Water Rebates

california California OKs $350M in Solar Hot Water Rebates

TheCalifornia Public Utilities Commission yesterday approved $350 millionin rebates to encourage homeowners and businesses to install solarwater-heating systems.

Industry experts estimate that the program couldcut the cost of such systems — also called solar thermal systems — byup to 25 percent. The federal government provides a tax credit worth 30percent of installed system costs.

Of the funds, $250 million will go towards replacingnatural-gas-powered water heaters, while $100 million is ear-marked forreplacing electric water heaters.

As reported by the L.A. Times, the rebates will be made available through California’s various utilities:

Customers of Edison International’s Southern CaliforniaEdison utility who replace their electric water heater with asolar-powered system will be eligible for a rebate. Sempra Energy’sSouthern California Gas Co. will offer the rebate to ratepayers whoreplace a natural-gas water heater. PG&E Corp.’s Pacific Gas &Electric Co. and Sempra Energy’s San Diego Gas & Electric Co. willoffer the deal to ratepayers whose solar water heaters displace eitherelectric or natural gas use.

Residential solar hot water systems typically cost between $6,500and $8,000 in California, according to the article. Homeownersreplacing a natural-gas heater can expect to receive a rebate worth upto $12.82 a therm, up to $1,500. While conventional water heaters aremuch less expensive, their cost of operation is higher, particularlywhen fuel prices rise.

To learn more about solar thermal technologies, see this post on Active vs. Passive systems. Or, read here, for more info about the different kinds of solar energy.

California OKs $350M in Solar Hot Water Rebates