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California Solar Initiative - Solar Water Heating Rebate Program

Valid: 05-01-2010 to 12-31-2017


Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Solar Water Heat Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Residential, Multi-Family Residential Amount: Systems that displace natural gas: $12.82 per estimated therm displaced Systems that displace electricity: $0.37 per estimated kWh displaced Maximum Incentive: Single-family residential systems that displace natural gas: $1,875 Single-family residential systems that displace electricity: $1,250 Commercial and multifamily residential systems that displace natural gas: $500,000 Commercial and multifamily residential systems that displace electricity: $250,000 Installation Requirements: Systems must be installed by an appropriately licensed contractor who is listed as being eligible to participate in the program. Self-installations are permitted if the building owner attends a designated CSI-Thermal Program training workshop. Summary: AB 1470 of 2007 authorized the creation of a $350 million incentive program for solar water heating systems. Of the $350 million in total funding, $250 million is reserved for systems that will displace natural gas powered water heaters, and $100 million is set aside for systems replacing electric water heaters. Before developing the program, however, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) had to wait for results from a pilot solar water heating program administered by the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) in the San Diego area. After reviewing the positive results of the pilot program, the CPUC developed rules for the statewide program and the program administrators began accepting applications retroactively on May 1, 2010 for single-family residential systems installed after July 15, 2009. Rebate applications for multifamily residential and commercial customers have been accepted since June 2010. The program is being administered by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), Southern California Gas Company (SCGC) and CCSE on behalf of San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). Homes must heat their water using gas or electricity supplied by one of the participating utilities to be eligible for incentives. There are different incentive levels depending on whether the solar water heating system displaces electricity or natural gas. Incentives will be paid upfront based on the SRCC estimated first year energy savings. Similar to the PV incentives offered through the California Solar Initiative, the incentives offered through this program will step down four times as installation milestones are met. Steps will decline separately in each service territory and for the two general customer classes. Interested residential customers should contact the appropriate program administrator: