I recently learned of an incentive rebate program by the Marina Coast Water District (UPDATE: Marina Coast Water District no longer offers this rebate) to encourage home owners to install a recirculation pump. If your house is already plumbed for a recirculation loop then you simply need to install a recirculation pump to qualify for the rebate, but I would also recommend installing our Smart Recirculation Control 3 when you do so you so you don't have to live your life on a strict hot water schedule.
I have discovered that many homes built in Monterey County within the last 30 years had a recirculation loop installed due to building code requirements, but there was no code requirement to actually install the pump! Check your utility closet near your water heater for a capped off copper pipe sticking out of the wall and that is your recirculation line.
If you don't have a dedicated hot water recirculation loop you can still take advantage of the rebate offer by installing a thermostatic hot water recirculation system. These systems use a thermostatic crossover valve that allows a pump to push hot water through the valve into the cold water line until the water heats up, then the pump closes. There are a few manufacturers of these types of retrofit systems, but they all run their pump on a timer and when the valve heats up and closes they simply allow the pump to "dead head" against the closed valve wasting energy and heating up the pump. Our Smart Thermostatic Control solves this problem by monitoring the system for water flow and when the thermostatic valve heats up and closes and the flow stops, the controller senses this and turns the pump off. Our controller also will run the pump on demand so you don't have to live your life on a strict hot water schedule. We also use the AquaMotion AMK-ODR crossover valve that has 4 - 5 times the flow of the plastic valves from our competitors so you get much more responsive on demand performance. It is recommended that you install one valve at the end of each dead end hot water line so that all your fixtures in your house have the benefit of on demand hot water. Save money when buying the full system.
If you don't live within the Marina Coast Water District, check with your local water district and see if they offer any rebates for installing a hot water recirculation system. If the do, please let me know, I'll be sure to add it to my blog.