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Update on Recent State and Utility Solar Water Heating Incentives


Latest Solar Water Heating Rebates and Incentives

Let’s face it. Incentives help make the case for solar technologies, whether it’s solar water heating systems or solar electric.

We’ve written before about the current national solar thermal incentives, but here they are again, briefly:

  • Both residential and commercial solar thermal systems are eligible for the 30% Federal Tax Credit, though they’re calculated differently.
  • Commercial (tax paying) businesses are also eligible for the Federal 1603 Tax Grant program, which converts the tax credit into cash. (Remember that this program is set to expire at the end of the year.)
  • Businesses also receive Federal Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System (MACRS) tax deductions, explained here.

Of course, state incentives change more often than Federal incentives, so here’s an update on the latest solar water heating rebates from the last 6 months or so.


  • Tampa Electric Utility is offering commercial and residential customers a solar water heating rebate of $1,000. Details here.



  • $500 rebate.
  • Available through the Linn County Rural Electric Cooperative Association (Linn County RECA).
  • Available to residential and commercial systems.
  • More info here.


We recently wrote a blog post about this. Here are the highlights:

  • Residential rebate was reduced from $1500 to $500, but…
  • Residential solar water heating systems are now eligible for SREC payments.
  • SRECs (Solar Renewable Energy Credits) payments are market based and vary by supply and demand.
  • At current rates, home owners may be eligible to receive up to $1250 (5 SRECs per year, maximum)

New Jersey

New Jersey already has a very robust SREC program that has made it one of the leading states for solar PV.  Now, solar water heating is getting some attention.

  • As of February 2011, residential solar water heaters are now eligible for a $1200 rebate.
  • Commercial solar thermal systems are now eligible for 5-year loans of $250,000 to $1 million. Even more interesting, the program has a performance Grant Conversion of up to 50% of loan amount at the end of the loan term. Rates are from 2% to 10%.  More info here.

New York

  • Residential and multi-residential solar water heating systems are now exempt from sales tax.
  • The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) is now offering $1,500 or 50% of installed cost of residential solar water heating systems. However, customers must have electric water tanks. Details here.
  • There’s a new state (NYSERDA) incentive for commercial, government, or residential solar thermal systems that are displacing electric water heaters. You can now receive: $1.50 per kWh displaced annually.  The maximum incentive is $4,000 for residential systems and $25,000 for non-residential. More info here.

North Carolina

  • Chatham County is offering $100 rebate on permitting fees for residential solar water heating systems.

South Carolina

  • Residential solar water heating systems under SCE&G utility are now eligible for $250 rebate. More info here.

That’s the solar thermal incentive news for the last six months. If we missed any good or bad state incentive news, please let us know!

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