The holiday season will be a bit brighter for 10 Hawaii households. Blue Planet Foundation and Suntech Hawaii have teamed up to offer free solar water heating systems to 10 Oahu families.

Winners will be selected from a list of those who sign up to be a “friend” of Blue Planet by Dec. 20, and winners will be announced Dec. 22.

The solar giveaway is one of a series of programs Blue Planet Foundation will be rolling out over the next year to decrease household energy use in Hawaii. The 10 solar water heaters - to be installed in the first months of 2009 - will save approximately 500 barrels of oil over the life of the system, and about $150,000 in utility costs collectively over the next 15 years. 

According to Blue Planet, the organization and its sponsor are able to deliver solar hot water systems at no out-of-pocket cost to the homeowners because of the state and federal tax incentives supporting adoption of solar energy. The two organizations have agreed to jointly cover the full after-tax/after-rebate cost of the systems.

If you are eligible, visit www.blueplanetfoundation.org to sign up.