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Solar water heating is a cost-effective way to boost your existing water heater’s efficiency and supply while reducing utility costs.
Hot Water from the Sun
Unlike photovoltaic solar systems that generate electricity, solar water heating systems absorb and transfer solar heat energy to your current water heaters, so the technology is also referred to as solar thermal.
Solar water heating can be used to increase water heating capacity for apartment buildings, hotels, dorms, commercial laundries, restaurants, food processors, agricultural plants or car washes. And as of January 2014, solar water heating for swimming pools and spas (for businesses and multi-family properties only) is now eligible for the state rebate.
Businesses and multi-family dwellings see a fast return-on-investment with solar water heating, with benefits including:
- Government rebates and tax incentives
- Significant reduction in water heating costs
- Continuous hot water supply during unexpected utility disruptions
- Greater hot water capacity
- Increased property value
- Reduction in energy consumption
The California Solar Initiative (CSI) Thermal Program1 offers cash rebates to Southern California Gas Company customers who purchase and install qualifying solar water heating systems. Rebates are based on how much energy the solar water heating system is expected to save annually. A rebate of up to $500,000 is available for commercial customers and up to $500,000 per site for income-eligible multi-family dwellings.
To be eligible for a CSI-Thermal Program rebate, a qualifying2 system must be installed by an eligible contractor or eligible self-installer.Your contractor will complete the Energy Efficiency Survey, ensure that your system is eligible, install your system according to regulations and submit the application for you.
Ready to take the next step? Find a contractor.*
If you are a contractor, learn about workshops.
- California Solar Initiative -Thermal Program *
- GoSolarCalifornia *
- CPUC Decision *
- CPUC California Solar Initiative-Thermal *
- Assembly Bill 1470 (PDF) *
1Program is funded by California utility customers and administered by Southern California Gas Company under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. Other terms and conditions apply. Southern California Gas Company is not responsible for goods or services selected by the customer.
2Restrictions, requirements and qualifications apply.