Solar Water Heater: The Next Step in Green #SoCalGas #SolarH2O

Curious about a solar water heater? I definitely am!

Ever since we moved in to our first house in November 2015, David and I have been going bonkers about greening up the place.

Truthfully, I’ve always tried to be pretty eco-conscious. There is definitely a green reason why I went vegetarian at 15, and have always been an obsessive recycler. But let’s be honest: there was only so much greening you can do when you live in an apartment and have no control over (at least in LA) whether or not your building recycles or how outdated your water heater is.

Since moving in to our house, we’ve ripped up at least 1/4 of the back yard and replaced it with xeriscaping, the landscaping concept of minimizing water consumption.

solar water heater xeriscaping go green

We have several large patches of succulents in our yard, plus weed-blocking fabric covered with pea pebbles to keep any moisture that we do get actually in the soil. The previous homeowners had flowers in these patches, and we just felt terrible about watering any of it! We’re also skipping on the watering of our front lawn all summer, letting it go brown and die, so we can rip up the whole shebangabang this fall and replace it with a xeriscaped garden that will use next to no water at all.

solar water heater xeriscaped lawn go green

Another thing I got obsessed with? Insulation. 

We are lucky (or unlucky?) enough to have a lot of original windows in our 102 year old Craftsman. Which means a lot of gaps that are so big you can see right through them. Armed with some foam insulation and Gorilla glue, we’ve sealed up all the cracks on the top floor, and are working on the bottom floor as we speak.

image courtesy wikimedia commons.

image courtesy wikimedia commons.

Now, every time we head on over to the hardware store, we’re stalked by the same guy: a representative for solar panels. We haven’t decided yet if we’ll go the rental route or buy them outright, but solar panels are definitely something on our radar, especially since I’m in the market for a new car. I would die for something 100% electric, and the idea of having it be fueled by our own sunlight? That’s mighty appealing.

We’re very lucky that we have a basement in our house, and that’s where our current gas water heater lives. It’s great because if we want to run the dishwasher or take a shower in the evening, it’s not actually in the house and it won’t heat up the place. But that being said, I really want to figure out how to green up our hot water situation, too.

Of course, that’s when I get info from SoCalGas about their new no-cost self-installer workshop for solar water heater systems. 

solar water heater sun

image courtesy

My sister told me about solar water heaters many years ago, but they never appeared to be a reality until now.

A Solar water heater is an effective way to boost the efficiency your existing hot water system, while reducing energy costs.

  • A solar water heater (solar thermal) system does not replace your existing water heater. (Which is really nice, because we sooooooort of stipulated we get a new one when we bought the house. It would be such a waste to get rid of our 6 month old water heater!) It works with it by preheating the water with the warmth of the sun to help your hot water system use less energy. This way you always have hot water, day or night, rain or shine.
  • Solar water heaters work with both traditional (what we got) and tankless systems. Win/win!
  • Homeowners can receive a rebate up to $10,238 from the California Solar Initiative if they meet the requirements when they install a system. (To receive an energy rebate you must either find a certified contractor or attend a self-installer workshop.)
  • Choosing the right solar water heating system not only maximizes the energy you save every month but also determines your rebate from the California Solar Initiative. The amount of your rebate is based on how much energy the solar water heating system is expected to displace annually, so it’s important to find the right system for your home!

I’m really keen in learning more about solar water heaters and the California Solar Initiative– and getting the maximum rebate from the State. Because doing the right thing by the Earth is awesome, but it’s a little more awesome with an extra $10k in your pocket.

To register for SoCalGas’s no-cost self-installer workshop for solar water-heating systems click here!  There are many dates to choose from and a really workable schedule.

Keep in the know by following @SoCalGas on Twitter!

featured image courtesy

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