The average household uses 64 gallons of hot water per day for activities like cleaning dishes, washing clothes and taking showers or baths. Every home that uses hot water can save with solar water heating. This is especially true when there are more people in the household or for larger homes that use a substantial amount of hot water. Solar water heating uses a free, natural resource—the sun—which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and helps the environment for the benefit of future generations.
Purchasing a solar water heating system is an investment—the cost is usually more upfront (approximately $9,000-$10,000) but the savings in the long run can be substantial and will offset the cost over its lifetime. On average, if you install a solar water heater, the portion of your PG&E bill that is for heating water is reduced by 50-80 percent.
The cost of the system and how much you save depend on several factors including the following:
To get a better sense of costs and savings, a local contractor can help you assess your hot water needs, design a system, and calculate your rebate and tax credit, as well as help determine financing options.
*Final rebate amount will be based on the estimated savings as calculated by your contractor.
**Must currently heat water with a natural gas water heater. Customers who heat their water with electricity or propane are not eligible.
The first step is to use our contractor search tool to find a licensed contractor. PG&E recommends getting at least two to three estimates to compare costs, system types and savings from different contractors. There is no obligation and you can take advantage of PG&E’s free Solar Water Heating Informational Kit (PDF, 3.8 MB) to help you make an informed decision. You should also verify the contractor has an active A, B, C-10 or C-46 license by checking the Contractors' State License Board (CSLB) website. Lastly, be sure to ask about experience and check references before signing the contract.