Tempe, Arizona [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Salt River Project (SRP) utility customers in Arizona who want clean and emission-free electricity for their homes and businesses can now receive a financial incentive to invest in solar energy as part of the new SRP SolarWise Energy program.The SolarWise program will pay up to US$9,000 to residential and small business customers who purchase and install photovoltaic (PV) systems that can connect with SRP’s power grid system. In addition, customers can apply for up to $750 to install solar water-heaters in their homes and offices. SRP has committed $1 million a year to the SRP SolarWise program. The goal of the solar incentive program is to encourage residents to invest in the clean and inexhaustible source of solar energy to increase demand and eventually drive down costs. “SRP is committed to doing our part to jump start this proven energy source,” said Richard Hayslip, manager of SRP’s Environmental, Land and Risk Management departments. “It’s our goal to help take solar energy out of the ‘alternative energy’ arena and into the mainstream.” Customers will be offered $3,000 for a 1 kW system; $6,000 for a 2 kW system and $9,000 for a 3 kW system. A typical PV system ranges in cost from $7,000 to $21,000 for a 1-3 kW system. Customers who install a new solar water heating system will receive a $750 payment. The cost of a new solar water heater is approximately $3,000. In addition to the rebate, customers may also qualify for a $1,000 state solar tax credit on PV and a $750 tax credit on a new solar water heating system. Customers who install these systems also will see a reduction in their monthly electric bill. “Implementing solar energy systems on our homes and businesses benefits the entire community by reducing pollution and decreasing our dependence on imported fuels,” said Sean Seitz, Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association President. “We applaud SRP for implementing this program and for recognizing the important place solar energy has in Arizona’s current and future energy mix.” If a customer is unable to install systems in their homes, they can do their part to invest in solar energy by participating in SRP’s EarthWise Energy program. Customers can contribute monthly to EarthWise Energy, which is a mix of produced renewable energy consisting of solar, wind, landfill gas, geothermal and low head hydro. All funds received through the program are used to build solar projects within the community.