Even though we're going to get pretty granular here, let's start with the big picture: you're thinking about installing a solar hot water system in California. Since you're probably wondering how much it costs, you'll want to know how much the state is willing to pay you in rebates. The California Solar Initiative (CSI) Thermal Program has ample funds that have yet to be tapped, since they only began issuing rebates in May. It's a great time to get solar hot water in the land of the Governator.
Look who's investing in solar hot water technology. While the rest of us are worrying that solar thermal lacks the trendy appeal of other solar tech and wondering when people will realize how much sense it makes, China is quietly stepping up and installing more solar hot water capacity than anyone in the world.
So you're interested in solar hot water? We're happy to hear it. Solar water heating is an effective way to lower your utility bill. And, compared to solar electric -- or photovoltaic (PV) -- systems, solar water heaters are typically less expensive. (For more info on the differences between these technologies, see our post Solar Hot Water vs. Solar PV.)
Solar water heating technology -- also referred to as solar thermal technology -- has been around for ages. But its effectiveness hasn’t lead to broad adoption in the United States. Why you ask?