Want to save money and make your business or home more sustainable? If your building uses a lot of hot water, then solar water heating could be right for you.
How solar water heating works
A solar water heating system is a simple and reliable energy source for your home or business. Sized to fit the location’s needs, solar collectors are mounted on a sloped south facing roof or flat roof. Fluid flows through the panels and is heated by the sun. It then runs to a solar storage tank connected to your existing hot water heater. Your water heater only turns on if the solar-heated water still needs a temperature boost. Hot water flows out of your taps just like it always has, but your hot water heating bill could be cut 60-80%. You will also reduce greenhouse gas and other air polluting emissions from your home or business!
Incentives are available
Fortunately, California Solar Initiative rebates now cover about 30% of the cost of a solar water heating system. In addition, 30% of the cost can be claimed as a federal tax credit. Together these financial incentives dramatically cut the cost of adding solar to your building.
To help get a sense of how solar water heating would pencil out for your home or business, use the SF Dept. of the Environment’s solar water heating calculator. In addition, you can find out more about solar water heating with these resources:
· SF Dept. of the Environment’s webpage (including information about financial incentives and contractors)
· SF Dept. of the Environment’s solar water heating fact sheets for commercial buildings, multifamily residential buildings, and single-family homes.
· PG&E’s solar water heating webpage
· PG&E’s solar water heating booklet
If you are interested in a solar photovoltaic system (to produce electricity), the department has information on that too.
Contact Jason Barbose, SF Dept. of the Environment Renewable Energy Project Manager, with any questions at 415-355-3790 or firstname.lastname@example.org.