The Las Vegas Salvation Army now uses solar hot water, helped by a Southwest Gas rebate.

Solar Hot Water Case StudyBecause of the Smarter Greener Better® Solar Water Heating rebate program offered by local utility Southwest Gas, the Salvation Army was able to install a technology that uses the sun’s thermal energy to heat their water. With an abundance of sunshine in Las Vegas, this generates quite a savings for the homeless residence that houses and showers 600 people each night.

How It Works

When most people think of solar energy, they imagine solar photovoltaic cells, or PV. Solar thermal heating panels are different than PV panels in that solar thermal heating works on the principle of converting sunlight into heat rather than electricity.

Solar thermal water heating systems simply circulate liquid through rooftop panels heated by the sun. The circulated liquid transfers the sun’s heat to storage tanks that feed heated water into the conventional hot water system. The Salvation Army’s solar storage tanks will feed the solar-heated water to three existing 100-gallon, natural gas-fired water heaters, thus reducing the amount of natural gas needed to heat the water.*

“In today’s environment, where even some of our long-time regular donors are struggling to continue supporting us, we need to look for every way to save a dollar so we don’t jeopardize the critical services we’re offering.”

– Major Bob Lloyd, Salvation Army Clark County Coordinator

Solar Rebate Program Saves Money

Get more information about saving money with solar water heating system rebates. For residential rebates of up to $3,000, visit the website: Southwest Gas Smarter Greener Better Solar Water Heating Program for Nevada. SW Gas solar water heater rebates for businesses can range from a maximum of $7,500 for small businesses to $30,000 for larger customers.

* Excerpt from a case study by ENEREF INSTITUTE. Read the full solar hot water case study: Group Residence Puts In Solar Hot Water Using Southwest Gas Rebate (PDF)