Residential & Small-Scale Solar Hot Water Program

Program Residential & Small-Scale Solar Hot Water Program
Category Financial Incentive
Implementing sector State
Last Update
State Massachusetts
Administrator Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC)
Website http://www.masscec.com/get-clean-energy/residential/solar-hot-water
Budget 2011-2012: $1 million; 2012-2020: $10 million
Start Date
Technologies Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat
Sectors Residential

Eligibility

Since February 2011, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has provided rebates for the installation of residential and small commercial solar hot water systems through the Residential and Small-Scale Solar Hot Water Program. Rebates are available to electricity customers served by the following Massachusetts investor-owned electric utilities: Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light (Unitil), National Grid, and Eversource. In addition, customers of certain municipal lighting plants (MLPs) are eligible. Only residents that live in territories that contribute to the MassCEC Renewable Energy Trust Fund are eligible for the rebate. 

The system must be installed at a residential building with 1 to 4 units, and the building must be occupied year-round. Small commercial buildings may also be eligible. Any fuel may be used as a backup to the solar water heater. Pool heaters do not qualify for this rebate; however, space heating and combo systems do qualify. Third party-owned systems are also eligible.

Rebate Amounts

Residential incentive rates are determined by using the following equation:

$100 X (# of collectors) X (Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) rating)

In order to determine the SRCC rating of a particular solar hot water system, the MassCEC uses the SRCC rating for "Category D, Mildly Cloudy Day."  See www.solar-rating.org to find the rating of a particular collector or refer to the MassCEC "Construction Application Instructions."

Residents can receive up to an additional $500 to cover the costs of a meter installation if the homeowner signs up for the MassCEC performance monitoring program. An additional $500 is also available for residents that have installed solar PV on the same facility by the time of application submission. Residents that meet certain income requirements are eligible for higher base rebates (80% - 120% income-based adder = $125 X # of collectors X rating; <80% income-based adder = $150 X # of collectors X rating). 

Rebates are capped at the lesser of $4,500 per building ($5,000 or $5,500 for income-qualified customers) or 40% of the total installed costs (45% or 50% for income-qualified customers), not including the $500 metering bonus. 

Non-Residential incentives rates are determined by using the following equations:

Standard Rebate: $100 X (# of collectors) X (Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) rating)

Non-Profit/Public Entity Rebate: $150 X (# of collectors) X (Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) rating)

Affordable Housing Rebate Adder: $200 X (# of collectors) X (Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) rating)

Customers can receive up to an additional $500 to cover the costs of a meter installation if the customer signs up for the MassCEC performance monitoring program. An additional $500 is also available for customers that have installed solar PV on the same facility by the time of application submission. 

Rebates are capped at $20,000 per building or 40% of the total installed costs (whichever is less), not including the $500 metering bonus. For non-profit and public entities, rebates are capped at $30,000 or 65% of eligible project costs. For affordable housing facilities, rebates are capped at $40,000 or 80% of eligible project costs.

OG-300 Rebate Calculation

The installer may request to use an OG-300 rating instead of the OG-100 rating, subject to MassCEC's approval. Rebates using an OG-300 rating are calculated as follows:

  • Base Rebate: $0.17/kBTU
  • Income-Based Rebate Adder (80% - 120% of SMI): $0.22/kBTU
  • Income-Based Rebate Adder (<80% of SMI): $0.26/kBUT
  • Non-Profit/Public Entity: $0.26/kBTU
  • Affordable Housing: $0.35/kBTU

Application Requirements

Applications are available online. Installers submit the applications online for the customer. Once the application has been approved, an email will be sent to both the installer and the resident. The system must then be installed at the home within 9 months of receiving the approval email. After the installation, the installer will submit all necessary forms online, including photos, a completion form, a copy of the building permit, and invoices.

Audits will be performed on the first two installations performed by every installer. Residents have the option of participating in a metering program. Interested customers should have the installer check the appropriate box on the application at the time of submission.

More information can be found in the Program Manual.

Add new comment