In hot water

Hot water heated by the sun is now flowing at Richard and Toni Lowden’s home in Reno. The couple became the first to receive a $2,000 NV Energy rebate for their investment in solar water heating. Solar hot water became the latest alternative energy method added to the utility’s rebate program last February. With solar water heaters, water is circulated through solar collectors, where the sun heats it. It’s then stored in a tank next to an electric or natural gas water heater. If the solar tank runs out of hot water, it draws from the conventional water heaters.

Rebates for residents are $2,000 to $3,000 depending on whether they currently heat water with electricity or natural gas. Rebates for schools and public buildings are capped at $50,000, according to the utility.