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Several new state-level solar thermal incentive programs – and especially California Solar Initiative (CSI) – will influence the solar hot water industry in 2011, nearly as much as natural gas rates.

Meanwhile, although manufacturers will find what is still a virgin marketplace and contractors will benefit from a choice of well-made products they will also find customer resistance and confusion that could be exacerbated if, as the market grows, a few inferior products or installations taint the industry.