Being eco-conscious is easier and more affordable than ever before. Living in the desert in Southern California, we have sunshine for most of the year. It’s easy to see the eco-chic lifestyle in action here with all the hybrid cars, solar panels on rooftops, and wind farms we have here in California. We’re a pretty frugal family but even the most frugal family can benefit their pocketbooks and the environment from embracing an eco-chic lifestyle. I won’t be buying a Tesla anytime soon (dream list) but we CAN be more eco-conscious everyday with simple changes that anyone can do. From solar water heating to using a solar-powered backpack to power your electronic devices, read on to see some of the ways you can be more eco-chic, every day!
Solar Water Heaters – they’re not what you think!
When my parents told me they were putting in a solar water heater on the adobe house they plan to build in Arizona, I had a lot of misconceptions about how solar water heaters work. Solar water heating systems are not the same as solar energy systems or solar panels on our roof. A solar water heating system or solar thermal system does not replace your existing water heater. It works with the water heater by preheating the water with the warmth of the sun to help your hot water system use less energy. The solar water heating systems work with your traditional or tankless water heater to provide hot water day and night, rain or shine. This makes a lot of sense, right?!
Upgrading to solar water heating can help you:
- Reduce your energy consumption.
- Lower your water-heating bill.
- May be eligible for federal, state and local rebates when available.
- Make your house more environmentally friendly.
- Reduce your carbon footprint.
Did you know you can get a rebate on your solar water heating system?
Solar water heating is an effective way to boost the efficiency your existing hot water system, while reducing energy costs. 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. Homeowners can receive a rebate up to $10,238!
To receive an energy rebate you must either find a certified contractor or attend a self-installer workshop. Find more information about a certified contractor here.
How to get started with a solar water heater:
Start your transition to solar water heating by selecting an eligible contractor from the California Solar Initiative Thermal Program. Eligible contractors help you determine the right system for your house, apply for your rebate and maximize your energy savings every month. You can have a solar water heated system professionally installed by a certified contractor who will work with you to determine the best system for you and handle your rebate application.
Homeowners who prefer to install the solar water heating system themselves can attend a CSI-Thermal Program training workshop to participate in the program and apply for a rebate. Learn about workshops for contractors and self-installers. See workshop dates. For more information, please check out www.solarwaterheating101.com
Many thanks to SoCalGas for sponsoring today’s story and teaching me to learn how to make my home and life more eco-friendly!
Click the NEXT button to see how we keep our phones charged all day … without plugging in!