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California approves $350 million in rebates for solar water heater installations

CPUC Establishes Incentives for Solar Hot Water Installation

Novato-based SolarCraft, the North Bay leader in solar electric and solar hot water system installations, is pleased to announce that the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved a $350 million dollar rebate program to encourage state residents and businesses to install solar water heater systems to save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Combined with the current 30% Federal Tax Credit, that means savings of up to 60% on the cost of solar water heater installations. The program’s goals are to see over 300,000 solar hot water systems installed over the next 8 years, saving California residents nearly 6 million cubic feet of natural gas and 3 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, while creating thousands of jobs.

The bulk of the new program stems from the passage of AB 1470, authored by Marin and Southern Sonoma Assemblyman Jared Huffman. Under the program, commercial and residential property owners will receive substantial rebates for installing certified solar water heater systems. In addition to the existing 30% Federal Tax Credit, owners of single family homes can receive rebates averaging $1,500. Commercial and multifamily properties are eligible for much larger rebates based on solar hot water system size and design. Incentives are paid upon system completion.

“Today’s decision will increase consumer confidence and understanding of solar water heating technology and its benefits,” states Michael R. Peevey, President of the California PUC.

The solar hot water program will run until December 31, 2017, or until the program funds are exhausted. Like the credits for installing solar electric systems, incentives decrease in four steps based on program participation, so larger incentives are made available to those who take advantage of the program early.

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