Sources: article by Gwendolyn Bounds of The Wall Street Journal & Go Solar California! website
You don't need a hot climate and tens of thousands of dollars to go solar. Harnessing the sun's free energy for daily hot-water needs can be practical and affordable.
As more homeowners are discovering, you don't need a super-hot climate and tens of thousands of dollars to go solar. In many cases, all it takes to offset two-thirds of your hot-water bill is a couple of panels resembling skylights, an 80-gallon water storage tank and some shade-free southern rooftop exposure. Costs range from about $2,000 to $10,000, sums that can be halved thanks to hefty new federal and state incentives. Just last week, California launched a cash-rebate program that will average $1,500 for residents to install solar water heaters at home.
The program for existing homes is called the California Solar Initiative and is run by the California Public Utilities Commission through California's major investor-owned utilities - Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric.
The program for new homes is run by the California Energy Commission and is called the New Solar Homes Partnership.
For more rebate details visit http://www.gosolarcalifornia.ca.gov/consumers/index.html