California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PRESS RELEASE Media Contact: Terrie Prosper, 415.703.1366, firstname.lastname@example.org
CPUC ANNOUNCES AVAILABILITY OF REBATES FOR MULTI-FAMILY AND COMMERCIAL SOLAR WATER HEATING SYSTEMS
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 11, 2010 - The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today announced that cash rebates of up to $500,000 are available for the installation of solar water heating systems on multi-family residences, businesses, and industrial facilities.
On October 8, 2010, the California Solar Initiative (CSI)-Thermal Program began accepting applicants from the multi-family/commercial sector under the $350 million program that promotes the installation of solar water heating systems on homes and businesses served by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas and Electric Company (SDG&E), and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).
The CSI-Thermal Program began accepting applications from single-family residents on May 1, 2010, but the program was until now unavailable to the multi-family/commercial sector while the CPUC and Program Administrators worked on technical implementation details. Incentives of up to $500,000 are now available to multi-family/commercial applicants who meet the application criteria, including completion of a one-day training course and installation of equipment that has been certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation. Applicants may apply for rebates online at www.csithermal.com.
The rebates will help homes and businesses defray the cost of installing high-quality solar water heaters that can significantly lower water heating bills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and cut California's dependence on fossil fuels. Rebates will be available for businesses and multi-family buildings this summer.
The CSI-Thermal Program is the latest addition to the Go Solar California campaign, which encourages the use of solar in California. Like the CSI program that provides incentives for solar photovoltaics systems, the goal of the CSI-Thermal Program is to grow a competitive, sustainable solar water heating industry in California that benefits the environment while providing local jobs for skilled engineers, manufacturers, installers, and sales people. In addition to cash rebates to energy users, the CSI-Thermal Program also provides funds to train installers, increase public awareness, lower building permit costs, and evaluate the impact of the technology.
Incentive levels will decline over the life of the program in four steps to spur market transformation. The CSI-Thermal Program will run for eight years until December 31, 2017, or until the program funds are exhausted, whichever occurs first.
The CSI-Thermal Program is administered by PG&E, Edison, SoCalGas, and the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) in the SDG&E territory. PG&E and SDG&E, in coordination with CCSE, will disburse incentives to both electric and natural gas customers who install eligible solar water heating systems in their territories. Edison will disburse incentives to customers who install electric displacing solar water heating systems. SoCalGas will disburse incentives to customers in its territory who install natural gas displacing solar water heating systems. For applications and administrator contact information for all the utilities, visit www.gosolarcalifornia.ca.gov/solarwater/index.php.
Homeowners interested in purchasing a solar thermal system are encouraged to obtain bids from at least three licensed solar contractors. Contractors (or homeowners who choose to self-install) first must attend a designated CSI-Thermal Program training workshop. This training is intended to familiarize installers with program rules and requirements; it is not a course on the basics of solar thermal installation. Check with your local program administrator for dates and locations of workshops.
For more information on the CPUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.