Contractors

CSI-Thermal for Contractors

As an eligible contractor in the California Solar Initiative-Thermal Program, you will be responsible for applying for rebates. This section contains information about how to become an eligible contractor and apply for rebates, as well as technical resources and important program information.

Incentive Structure

Step

Incentive per annual therm displaced

Maximum rebate

1

$29.85

$4,366

Step

Incentive per annual therm displaced

Maximum rebate

1

$20.19

$800,000

2

$17.16

$800,000

3

$10.15

$800,000

4

$3.13

$800,000

Step

Incentive per annual therm displaced

Maximum rebate

1

$7.00

$500,000

2

$6.00

$500,000

Step

Incentive per annual therm displaced

Maximum rebate

1

$36.90

$5,397

Step

Incentive per annual therm displaced

Maximum rebate

1

$24.89

$800,000

2

$21.86

$800,000

3

$14.85

$800,000

4

$7.83

$800,000

Step Budget Allocations

You can see the current status of the step budget allocations at csithermal.com/tracker and all step budget allocations in CPUC Decision 15-01-035.

Visit CSIthermal.com

Understanding Step Changes

For single-family residential and multifamily/commercial natural-gas displacing systems there is a specific budget allocated to each step by customer class and service territory. Once the allocated budget for that step has been reached, the customer class will move down to the next step in that service territory.

The low-income and disadvantaged communities program does not use a step-down rebate structure. Qualifying low-income single-family and multifamily projects will be eligible for the Step 1 incentive level until the program funds have been exhausted. Likewise, single-family and multifamily or commercial projects located in a disadvantaged community will be eligible for the Step 1 general market incentive level until the program funds have been exhausted.

Calculating CSI-Thermal Rebate Rates

Rebates are calculated based on expected performance for the specific solar thermal system for one year. The CSI-Thermal Calculator on csithermal.com will calculate the estimated therms or kilowatt-hours that a system is expected to offset for one year. That number is then multiplied by the current incentive rate, and adjusted for anticipated shading and surface orientation.

An example for a multifamily residential project would be if the estimated annual energy savings for a finished system is 1,100 therms/year and the current incentive level is $20.19 per therm, the anticipated incentive from the CSI-Thermal Program = 1,100 therms x $20.19 = $22,209.

 

Check current funding status at www.csithermal.com/tracker.

Determining Property Eligibility

CSI-Thermal incentives are available for single-family residential properties, commercial and multifamily properties. To qualify for available rebates, customers must meet specific requirements.

Single-Family Residential

  • Heat their water with natural gas*
  • Install a qualifying solar water heating system
  • Are customers of one of the four designated investor-owned utilities in the state
  • Single-family customers must directly use the hot water from the solar water heating system

Please note that space heating, space cooling and swimming pool or spa heating are not eligible uses for single-family properties.

* Residential CSI-Thermal rebates are no longer available for electric- or propane-displacing systems.

Multifamily Residential & Commercial

  • Use a solar thermal system to offset natural gas consumption*
  • Install a qualifying solar thermal system
  • Are customers of one of the designated four investor-owned utilities in the state
  • Commercial and multifamily customers can receive a rebate for a solar hot water system and other solar thermal systems installed for process heat, space cooling, space heating, pool heating or any combination

Examples of rebate-eligible businesses include commercial laundries, gyms, laundromats, restaurants, convalescent homes, hotels/motels, school dormitories, prisons, agricultural processes, hospitals, food processors, wineries, breweries, car washes and other applications.

*CSI-Thermal rebate funds for electric- or propane-displacing multifamily and commercial systems within the SDG&E service territory have been exhausted, and customers using electric or propane for water heating are no longer eligible for CSI-Thermal incentives.

Permitting Requirements for Solar Thermal Systems

A permit from the local building department is required for all applications submitted to the CSI-Thermal Program. Furthermore, solar thermal systems must be rated by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) or the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO).

  • Commercial/multifamily collectors must have OG-100 certification
  • System installations must conform to manufacturers' specifications and all applicable codes and standards
  • All systems must have freeze and overheat protection

Permitting Requirements for Pools

All solar pool heating systems also require a permit from the local building department as part of the incentive application. If a jurisdiction does not issue a building permit for solar pool heating system installations, please provide a letter from the department indicating that a permit is not required.

Please note: In Southern California, solar pool heating systems must receive a permit from the local county Department of Environmental Health and Safety.