Honolulu, Hawaii [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] In its February Consumer Lines newsletter and a special solar brochure insert, Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) is reminding customers to take advantage of a new federal tax credit that is making solar water heating more affordable than ever.Effective January 1, 2006, the new 30% federal tax credit for residential solar water heating systems offers a savings of up to $2,000 for the cost of the system. In addition, the 35% Hawaii state tax credit combined with HECO’s instant rebate of $750 for using a HECO-approved solar contractor for the installation help to further bring the average system cost of $4,700 down nearly 60% to about $1,800. HECO recommends that customers do some homework on the cost of solar water heating systems, which may range between $4,700 to $5,500 or more, and advises all customers to check with a tax advisor, the Internal Revenue Service or Hawaii Department of Taxation to determine how the tax credits should be calculated based on an individual’s unique situation. “The long term benefits of going with solar are even better,” said Ron Richmond, Residential Program Analyst for HECO. “A typical family of four can save up to $480 annually on their electricity bills with a solar water heating system that essentially pays for itself within the first four years after installation.” For a copy of the solar tax credit brochure or more information on HECO’s residential solar water heating program, including a list of HECO-approved solar contractors, call 808-94-POWER (808-947-6937) or visit HECO at the following link.