On Tuesday, a Taco Bell restaurant in Albany became the first business in California to get a solar thermal energy rebate for its newly installed solar hot water system.
Pacific Gas & Electric granted the franchise a rebate check of $3,654 for replacing its conventional hot water system with a solar thermal system.
The California Solar Initiative, after much lobbying by the solar industry, has been offering a residential solar thermal hot water system rebate since May, and a commercial rebate beginning Oct. 8.
Cash rebates are available up to $1,875 for residential solar thermal systems on single family homes and $500,000 for commercial properties and multi-family dwellings.
The rebate is set by a formula based on 12 cents per therm of natural gas saved or replaced, and 37 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity saved.