Note: Since writing this post, CSI Thermal rebates have been increased for California solar hot water systems.
Earlier this year, the California Solar Initiative (CSI) carved out a new solar hot water rebate program for commercial and residential solar thermal installations
Since passage of the bill, there have been a number of revisions to the CSI thermal Handbook, which gives customers and solar businesses guidelines for qualifying for rebate.
Here are some guideline highlights:
- To qualify, you must be a customer of Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), California Center for Sustainable Energy (SDG&E territory), Southern California Gas Company (SCGC), or Southern California Edison.
- Incentives are available retroactively for systems installed after 7/15/09.
- Single family homes with gas water heaters can receive a maximum of $1,875 state rebate. Single-family residential with electric water heaters receive a little less –$1,250. (The state is encouraging you to switch to solar hot water with a gas back up, because electric water heating is very costly and inefficient.)
- Home systems must be OG-300 certified. Check out Free Hot Water’s wide variety of quality OG-300 systems for home owners.
- Commercial and apartment building systems that use natural gas can receive of up to $500,000.
- Commercial and apartment buildings using electricity will receive up to $250,000. (Again, California wants to encourage you to switch to solar with natural gas.)
- Systems must use solar hot water collectors that are OG-100 certified. Free Hot Water now has pre-packaged OG-100 systems that are ideal for restaurants, Laundromats, and small apartment buildings.
- For both commercial and residential systems, you will also be eligible for the Federal 30% tax credit, however the tax credit is calculated differently for commercial and residential systems.
- Solar pool heating systems DO NOT qualify for any Federal or State incentives. However, solar pool heating is a no-brainer and pays for itself fairly quickly. See Free Hot Water’s easy to install pool heating kits here.
- Solar thermal space heating; i.e., solar radiant heated floors or solar thermal air conditioning systems are also NOT eligible for the rebate or Federal tax credit. However, our Free Hot Water engineering team can still design these systems.
Finally, it should be noted that this incentive amount is extremely generous to early adopters who RSVP first…and then the amount decreases (“steps down” in increments ) as the number of systems are installed. Therefore, we sincerely recommend at least getting a free quote as soon possible. Couldn’t hurt and could save you hundreds–or thousands–of dollars. Honest.
We will continue to sum up key parts of the new program in future blog posts. Sign up for our newsletter to receive a monthly summary of our blog posts and other solar hot water other information.