Learn about the benefits of Solar Water Heating and how to choose the right system for your business.

Keep Profits Up and Energy Costs Down

Solar water heating is a cost-effective way to boost the efficiency and supply of your existing water heater while reducing utility costs.

Bright Benefits

Businesses and multi-family dwellings may enjoy a return-on-investment with solar water heating. Benefits include:

  • Government rebates and tax incentives when available.†
  • Reduction in energy consumption and water heating costs.
  • Maintain hot water supply during unexpected utility disruptions.
  • Increased hot water capacity.
  • Reduce green-house gas emissions.

Business Uses

Solar water heating can be used to increase water heating capacity for apartment buildings, hotels, dorms, commercial laundries, restaurants, food processors, agricultural plants, car washes and many other purposes.

Solar Water Heating Basics

A solar water heating (solar thermal) system does not replace your existing water heater. It augments it by preheating the water with the warmth of the sun to help your hot water system use less energy.

Why Choose Solar Water Heating

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.

The Right System

Rebates from the California Solar Initiative *§ are based on how much energy the solar water heating system of your business is expected to displace annually. It's important that you and your contractor select the right system for your business.

Choosing the Right System

Solar Energy Rebates and Savings

Solar water heating pays. When you add up the applicable federal, state and local tax incentives and the potential rebates available for upgrading your business to solar water heating, you see how quickly your system can begin to pay for itself. And, as of January 2014, solar water heating for swimming pools and spas (for businesses and multi-family properties only) is eligible for the state rebate. A rebate of up to $800,000 per site is available for both commercial customers and income-eligible multi-family dwellings.

The California Solar Initiative (CSI) Thermal Program1 offers cash rebates to SoCalGas® 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.

Savings and Rebates

If you're interested in exploring rebates and incentives at the local, state and federal levels, go to dsireusa.org *

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.

Let's Get Started

Start by selecting an approved contractor from the  California Solar Initiative  § Thermal Program. Approved contractors will help you choose the best system for your business and maximize your energy savings. Watch the video for tips on working with professional installers then contact one of our approved CSI contractors below.

Working With Your Contractor

† Consult your tax professional for specific details of federal tax credits and local incentives for solar water heating. Restrictions, requirements and qualifications may apply.

*§ The California Solar Initiative Thermal Program is funded by the California investor-owned utility customers and is administered by regional Program Administrators under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. Rebates are available first-come first served; SCG doesn't endorse any contractors and SCG is not responsible for any goods or services selected by customer. © 2015 Southern California Gas Company. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. All rights reserved. Some materials used under license, with all rights reserved by licensor.

1 Program 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.

2 Restrictions, requirements and qualifications apply.