With summer in full force, the last thing on my mind is home heating. But, the fact of the matter is that, no matter how hot it gets, we still need to use hot water on a daily basis. Showering, washing dishes, and doing the laundry all require heated tap water. And, really, a cold shower sounds refreshing in theory but feels practically freezing first thing in the morning. One way to heat water is by using a solar water heating system. Such a system will lower utility costs in the long run AND lessen your impact on the environment.
Why a Solar Water Heating System?
A solar water heating system works in conjunction with your conventional water heater. Fluid circulates to solar panels on the roof to collect thermal heat, hot coils heat water in storage tanks, and then water flows to the conventional water heater. Then, the conventional water heater (using natural gas) can generate extra hot water as needed. The system harnesses free renewable energy from the sun, a resource which is quite plentiful here in California. You can even go a step further to add radiant heating to your home. No more ice cold flooring in the morning after stepping out of bed!
There are upfront costs but the saving on energy costs will add up pretty quickly. A solar water heating system can lower part of your PG&E natural gas bill by 50-80%. Of course, the percentage of savings will vary upon how much water you use and how many people are in your home. Monetary incentives are available as well. PG&E offers over $4,000 for installing a solar water heating system through the California Solar Initiative (CSI) Thermal program. You may also qualify for a 30% federal tax credit upon installation. See? A solar water heating system keeps sounding better and better, right?
How does this all actually work in real life? Check out this video detailing the experience of a local family in El Cerrito, CA.
PG&E’s Free Resource for Installing a Solar Water Heating System
You may still have questions about which system is right for you, how to find a good contractor, and what other factors you might have to consider before installation. Answers to all that and more is available here from PG&E’s Solar Water Heating Program. You’ll find links to an FAQ section as well as a search tool for solar water heating system contractors in your area. Make sure to download PG&E’s Solar Water Heating Guide too. The printable guide (listed under step one on the website) includes best practices in choosing a qualified contractor and a side-by-side comparison chart as you take bids from three different contractors.
For many people, installing a solar water heating system might be a new idea and, therefore, a somewhat daunting subject to research. But, the benefits of such a system far outweigh any hesitation of looking deeper into it. Plus, since you need less natural gas, a solar water heating system allows you to save money and the planet at the same time! Hopefully, this information and the free guide provided from PG&E’s Solar Water Heating Program will help you find the perfect solar water heating system which is right your family and your home.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of PG&E. The opinions and text are all mine.