News & Updates


The Sun Rises On New Gulf Power Program

Sandy Sims, manager of Public Affairs, said the company has received applications from customers across Northwest Florida. 

Gulf Power Company customers are slowly but surely warming up to the idea of heating their water with the sun, thanks to incentives from Gulf Power and the state of Florida, as well as a 30 percent federal tax credit.

The new Solar Thermal Water Heating program is a part of EarthCents, a menu of energy efficiency programs that can help customers save money and energy. Already, more than 150 customers have inquired about the program and 20 have submitted applications for the incentives.

“It’s exciting to see the interest begin to grow,” Sims said. “Solar thermal water heating is a great option for our customers who want to save energy by using the renewable energy of the sun.”

Recently, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that does away with a $2,000 limit on the tax credit for solar water heaters. Sims says this is very good news for customers.

“Now customers can have even more of their system paid for,” Sims said. “We provide a $1,000 incentive — the state another $500, and the federal tax credit cap has been lifted. This really helps to make these systems more affordable.”

Solar Thermal Water Heating Program Facts

Customers can receive a $1,000 rebate when a qualified contractor installs a new solar thermal water heating system. They also may be eligible for an additional $500 rebate from the State of Florida, as well as a 30 percent Federal Tax Credit available to tax payers through tax year 2016.

Program participants will receive a free home Energy Check Up, which includes energy savings tips, free compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), and guidelines for successful solar thermal water heating installations.

Here’s the great part — customers can save up to 75 percent on their annual water heating cost and reduce CO2 by 5,776 pounds per year.

A History of energy efficiency

In the early 1970s, Gulf Power introduced the energy efficiency standard for homebuilding, the GoodCents home program, that’s been used by utilities nationwide. In addition, Gulf Power was the first to offer an innovative home energy management program. Gulf Power’s energy efficiency programs have helped customers reduce their energy demand in Northwest Florida by 350 megawatts — enough to power 100,000 homes.

Solar Thermal Water Heating is just one of many Gulf Power EarthCents programs designed to help customers save money and energy. To find out more call (877) 655-4001 or visit

Gulf Power Company is an investor-owned electric utility with all of its common stock owned by Atlanta-based Southern Company. The company is a tax-paying utility with rates well below the national average. Gulf Power serves more than 400,000 customers in 10 counties throughout Northwest Florida.

Our mission is to safely deliver affordable, reliable and environmentally responsible energy to very satisfied customers in strong communities.