Renewed Rebates for Single-Family Solar Water Heating

Chuck Colgan's picture

CCSE’s recent success in modifying the San Diego California Solar Initiative (CSI) program means rebates are available again for solar water heating systems in single-family homes using electricity or propane to heat water.

In January 2013, CCSE surpassed the amount of megawatts allocated to the CSI for residential solar projects in the SDG&E territory, including photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal systems. This meant homeowner applications for solar water heating rebates were put on a wait list for available funds.

CCSE petitioned the California Public Utilities Commission to combine the remaining nonresidential solar allocation with the residential allocation. In October, the commission approved the petition, allowing CCSE to transfer megawatts to both PV and solar water heating residential projects.

“The average San Diego household consumes 45 gallons of hot water every day,” said Sarah Smith, CCSE solar thermal program manager. “By capturing the warmth of the sun to help heat water, homeowners can save up to 75% on annual water heating costs while reducing their impact on the environment.”

What this means for CSI-Thermal

The CSI-Thermal electric incentive budget is shared with the CSI PV program so single-family electric/propane displacing solar water heating systems in CCSE/SDG&E territory can again receive rebates. The incentives are issued on a first-come, first-serve basis for both technologies, so CCSE does not know how long it will take to exhaust the new funds.

Solar water heating rebate amounts are based on how much energy your system is expected to displace over the course of one year. Maximum rebates for single-family residential customers are $1,834 for electric and propane customers and $2,719 for natural gas customers.

In addition to the CSI rebate, you may also be able to claim a federal solar tax credit for up to 30% of the cost of your new solar water heating system, including both equipment and installation. Combined with state rebates, this can make a huge difference in how much solar water heating will cost for your home, according to Smith.

Chuck Colgan