Rebate program for solar screens eases energy costs

April 05, 2002 |

With the arrival of warm weather, an energy saving incentive funded by the State of California takes off for a second year and continues to attract interest. The California Solar Screen Rebate Program provides an aggressive $1 per square foot rebate for installing solar shade screens. Since shade screens reduce heat gain through windows, the program assists residents and businesses in lowering their air-conditioning demand when installed.

'There has been a sharp increase in the number of installations of solar screens since the warm weather started,'' said Program Manager Spencer Mills. 'The program has awarded over 5,600 rebates to residents and businesses throughout California. Our target is just over 23,000 installations. We believe we will reach that target by the end of summer.''

Ratepayers report that the screens dramatically reduce their electricity usage. Installation costs can be recovered in as little as two summers. Oftentimes, ratepayers become more conscious of their AC usage once they undertake this kind of energy saving improvement.

The majority of the rebates are going to homeowners, but businesses, schools, hospitals, government facilities, hotels, senior homes, churches and apartments complexes are taking advantage of the incentive and installing solar screens.

The rebate is paying $1 per square foot of installed exterior solar screens on all south, west and east facing windows, skylights and glass doors. The rebate is offered for both residential and commercial buildings, with no limit on square footage installed. Solar screens install like regular insect screening, making the installation very affordable. With the rebate, ratepayers can save between 20 to 30 percent on the installation cost.

Funding for this rebate was provided under legislation enacted in 2001 to encourage energy conservation. The incentive for solar screens was just one project among many.

Government agencies and many utilities promote the use of solar screens as an energy saving technology, including the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), Roseville Electric, and utilities in Redding, Lodi, Modesto, Turlock, Riverside and the Imperial Valley.

Californians may have screens installed and receive a rebate through 326 local installers statewide. For terms and conditions or to find a local installer, call toll-free 1-866-921-7400, or visit

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