Become an Eligible Contractor or Self-installer

Step 1: Be a licensed contractor

Contractors must be licensed by the State of California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) and have an active A (engineer), B (general), C-4 (boiler, hot water heating and steam fitting), C-36 (plumbing) or C-46 (solar) contractor's license to participate in the CSI-Thermal Program. Contractors with a C-53 (swimming pool) license are eligible to apply for solar pool system rebates only.

This requirement does not apply to self-installers. However, a self-installer is only eligible to install a solar water heating system on a property for which he or she is the utility customer of record.

Step 2: Attend a mandatory CSI-Thermal contractor and self-installer workshop

The business owner, whose name is on the CSLB license, must attend a free, one-day training to learn about the application process and program requirements of the CSI-Thermal Program. Self-installers also are required to attend this one-day workshop.

We also recommend that any staff who will be working on submitting CSI-Thermal rebate applications attend the workshop. This will help new applicants avoid common errors when going through the application process.

You may also contact CSE’s SWH team directly for additional details at or (858) 244-1177.

Step 3: Use your key to register online

Once the contractor or self-installer completes the workshop, he or she will be provided a unique registration key that grants access to the CSI-Thermal database. The contractor will then become part of the CSI-Thermal Eligible Contractors list and have the ability to submit rebate applications. Self-installers also will be able to input a rebate application for their self-installed projects.