Technologies Added to Solar-Thermal Rebates

Chuck Colgan's picture

Rebates will soon be available in California for a wider range of solar water heating systems with applications in business, industry and commercial properties.

The California Public Utilities Commission has approved additional California Solar Initiative (CSI) rebates for solar water heating technologies, including space heating and cooling. These technologies have the potential to significantly reduce natural gas use and curb greenhouse gas emissions.

The CSI-Thermal Program expects to have this new portion of the program ready for application submittals by Sept. 25, 2013. CCSE administers the CSI program in the SDG&E service territory.

Commercial and multifamily properties will be eligible for rebates on solar thermal systems for the following uses.

Process heat – low-temperature solar process heat for industrial uses
Solar cooling – using thermally activated cooling systems driven by solar energy
Space heating – solar thermal ventilation systems that preheat air for indoor uses
Combination systems – any combination of water heating, space heating, solar cooling and process heat

Potential Commercial Uses

In principle, there is enormous potential for using solar thermal systems in industry – about 30% of industrial heat demand is at temperatures well below 212° F, levels easily obtainable by commercially available solar thermal collectors. Some industries with the highest potential include beer brewing, food processing, equipment cleaning and textile and paper manufacturing.

The rebate program requires all systems to take a performance-based incentive that will be paid quarterly over two years at the current step level rate of $7.27/therm displaced for natural gas-displacing systems and $0.21/kWh displaced for electric- and propane-displacing systems.

More Information

Details about the new incentives and the application process will be available soon on the websites of CCSE, Pacific Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison. In the meantime, find more information in the CSI-Thermal Program Handbook.