Enhancements to the California Solar Initiative (CSI)-Thermal Program

Chuck Colgan's picture

The California Public Utilities Commission approved an advice letter on March 4, 2013, that modifies some areas of the CSI-Thermal Program Handbook. The changes further streamline program requirements and the application process for contractors and self-installers.

Specific details and requirements associated with the recent program changes and the latest edition of the CSI-Thermal Handbook are located here.

It will take about 30 days for all changes to take effect in the CSI-Thermal application database located at www.csithermal.com.

Summary of Major Changes

  • Changed the duration of metering of actual hot water consumption for building types not in Appendix D
    Applicants that choose not to use Appendix D or applications with building types not listed in Appendix D will now be allowed to do one of the following: meter hourly actual hot water consumption using a flow meter with an accumulator for an appropriate period of time to capture the full range of usage or meter hourly natural gas, electric or propane consumption at the water heater for an appropriate period of time to capture the full range of usage. An explanation and results must be stamped by a professional engineer (P.E.).
  • Removal of the three-step application process:
    Now, all commercial/multifamily applications, regardless of system size, will apply using the two-step application process, where the executed sales/installation contract is required in the first stage of the process.
  • Addition of a “Small Commercial” option for building-types not in Appendix D:
    For systems with less than 85 square feet of collector area that are not OG-300 certified, applicants may select the “Small Commercial System” option in the CSI-Thermal database and calculator. The applicant must then select the building type with a load profile that best represents the building’s hot water usage. For example, if the business has 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. weekday hours, the Office Buildings load profile should be selected. The calculator will assume a hot water load of 64.3 GPD.
Chuck Colgan