Austin Energy offers its residential, commercial, and municipal customers either an up-front rebate or a low-interest loan for the purchase and installation of solar hot water heaters. Because the program is in part designed to help Austin Energy reduce peak electricity demand, only systems that preheat water for a permanently installed electric hot water heater are eligible to receive the incentive. Rebate levels vary by customer class.
Residential (new construction): $1,500
Residential (existing homes): $2,000 or low interest loan (see below)
Commercial: Custom, determined on a case-by-case basis
Loans option details (existing homes)
Home improvement loans: 0% interest rate over 3, 5, 7, or 10 year term; $1,500 minimum
Personal loans: 2% interest rate over 3 or 5 year term; $500 minimum
Maximum loan of $5,000 for single family or $10,000 for duplexes
Additional 2% interest rate (added to base rate) for credit scores of 639 and below
All systems must be new, SRCC certified, and sized to accommodate the needs of at least 4 people. Systems must also be designed for frost protection, scale elimination or remediation, and have a 5-year warranty on all major components. The use of existing tanks will be allowed on a case-by-case basis. All systems must be installed by a licensed, program approved contractor, and comply with all applicable city codes and permitting requirements. Participants must sign an agreement stating their intention to maintain the system in proper working order for at least 5 years and allow Austin Energy to inspect the system. Failure to maintain the system may result in repayment of a prorated portion of the rebate. Participants must also sign a Renewable Energy Credit (REC) Assignment Form handing over all RECs produced by the system to Austin Energy.