By Mario McKellop
According to a recent CNBC article, California is the third most expensive state to live in. Consequently, homeowners living in the Southland could benefit from being on the lookout for ways to keep their living costs at a minimum. One way SoCal families could minimize their utility costs and carbon footprints is by installing a solar water heating system. If purchased through a qualified contractor, eligible SoCalGas® customers could save money on innovative environmentally-friendly systems.
What is a solar water heating system and how does it work?
Solar water heating systems provide homes and businesses in sunny climates with hot water. As opposed to traditional systems that use natural gas, solar water heating harnesses the power of the sun to heat water. They function by collecting solar thermal energy to raise the temperature of heat transfer fluid. Once properly heated, the fluid is pumped into a heat exchanger which warms a tank of water that feeds into a residential hot water tank.
Why should I purchase a solar water heating system?
As Southern California on average gets 284 sunny days a year, its residents are in a unique position to take advantage of solar water heating technology. For much of the year, homeowners can get some of the hot water they need to take baths and showers, do the dishes or take a dip in the Jacuzzi while using less natural gas. Over the course of the year, having a solar water heating system installed can provide meaningful savings on utility costs.
How do I get hot water at night or on cloudy days?
Since solar water heating systems work in concert with existing systems, homeowners will continue to have reliable access to their usual amount of hot water. When the sun is shining, the solar water heating system does all the work. On nights and cloudy days, the existing system kicks in to handle hot water needs.
How can I get a deal on a solar water heating system?
Thanks to the California Solar Initiative’s Thermal program, SoCalGas customers who are also single-family homeowners can take advantage of a rebate of up to $4,336 on the purchase of a qualified solar water heating system. The rebates are offered while funds are still available. Additionally, the purchase and installation of certain solar water heating equipment may qualify homeowners to receive a tax credit worth 30 percent of their equipment costs.
For more information and a directory of local contractors who can help you start heating water with the sun, visit: socalgas.com/solar
This program is funded by California utility customers and administered by regional program administrators under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. Program funds, including any funds utilized for rebates or incentives, will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis until such funds are no longer available. This program may be modified or terminated without prior notice. The selection, purchase, and ownership of goods and/or services are the sole responsibility of customer. SoCalGas makes no warranty, whether express or implied, including the warranty of merchantability or fitness for a purpose, of goods or services selected by customer. Customers who choose to participate in this program are not obligated to purchase any additional goods or services offered by contractor or any other third party. SoCalGas does not endorse, qualify, or guarantee the work of any contractor or other third party. Consult your tax professional for specific details of federal tax credits and location incentives for solar water heating. Eligibility requirements apply; see the program conditions for details.