Solar Thermal - Lewis Multifamily Case Study

Like most apartment building owners, the Lewises supplied their tenants with hot water for personal use and the shared laundry room as part of their lease agreements. Then they heard that a solar thermal system could provide savings on their property’s natural gas bill.

They were able to take advantage of California Solar Initiative – Thermal program rebates, federal tax credits and accelerated depreciation to decrease system installation costs and reduce on-site energy consumption. 

Installation of the solar thermal system on the Lewis property included insulation of exposed piping, low flow aerators and shower heads installed in all units, and expansion tanks added to the hot water heaters. Building tenants appreciate reliable hot water, and the property owners are able to market the environmental aspects of their apartment complex when leasing vacant units.

The systems have an anticipated lifetime of 25 years and provide an annual energy cost savings of more than $2,500. As an added benefit, the energy saved reduces the property’s annual greenhouse gas emissions by 75%.