Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where can I learn more about solar water heating technology and available rebates?
  2. Are pool solar water heating systems eligible for a rebate?
  3. Do I need to replace my existing water heater when I install solar water heating?
  4. Can a solar water heating system work with a tankless water heater?
  5. Are solar water heating systems for radiant floor heating eligible for a rebate?
  6. Are there incentives other than the CSI-Thermal program for solar water heating systems in California?
  7. How much does a solar water heating system cost?
  8. Are there any financing options available?

 

  1. Where can I learn more about solar water heating technology and available rebates?

    Join CSE at one of our free solar water heating workshops for homeowners. We continuously offer this workshop for homeowners seeking to learn more about the benefits of solar water heating (SWH) and the economics behind this exciting technology. Our experts lead the workshop and are there to answer your questions.
     
  2. Are pool solar water heating systems eligible for a rebate?

    No, single-family solar pool systems are not eligible for the California Solar Initiative (CSI) -Thermal Program rebate. But, don’t let that stop you. Solar pool systems are a well-established technology that can help you save money on your pool heating bills even without rebates.
     
  3. Do I need to replace my existing water heater when I install solar water heating?

    No. Your solar water heating system will work in conjunction with your existing water heater. You do not need to replace your existing water heater when you install a SWH system and if you need to replace it in the future it should not affect your SWH system.
     
  4. Can a solar water heating system work with a tankless water heater?

    Yes. Just ask your contractor to recommend a solar water heating system that will work with your tankless water heater.
     
  5. Are solar water heating systems for radiant floor heating eligible for a rebate?

    No, not at this time. There is a possibility that if SRCC creates a standard for combination systems (domestic hot water and radiant heating) that they will become eligible for a CSI-Thermal rebate at that time.
     
  6. Are there incentives other than the CSI-Thermal program for solar water heating systems in California?

    There are no other California incentives other than the CSI-Thermal. However, you may be eligible for the 30% federal renewable energy tax credit. This means that you can get a credit for 30% of the cost of your SWH system after your CSI-Thermal rebate. We recommend speaking with your tax professional for more details.
     
  7. How much does a solar water heating system cost?

    Based on the systems installed through the CSI-Thermal Program in SDG&E territory, on average a system for a single-family residence costs about $7,300 before the rebate and tax credit. This cost will vary based on the type of system installed and the hot water needs of each residence.
     
  8. Are there any financing options available?

    There are many financing programs available for solar water heating systems. Please see the Energy Financing Programs database for more information.