Solar Hot Water Incentive Program

A Smart Energy Solution
Investing in a Solar Thermal or Solar Hot Water (SHW) system is a smart energy solution for most homeowners and certain businesses. This proven and reliable technology offers long-term performance with low maintenance.

How Do I Get Started?

What Is a Solar Hot Water System?
A SHW system generates heat from sunlight. The most visible components of a SHW system typically are the solar collectors, or panels, which are usually roof-mounted. For water-heating systems, the rest of the system includes a tank for storing the heated water, a pump and piping to circulate the heated liquid (usually an anti-freeze solution) from the collectors to a heat exchanger in the tank, which generates hot water or warmed air, and a controller to automatically operate the pump.

Step 1: Complete an energy assessment for your home. You may participate in the Home Energy Solutions program offered by the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund or schedule an independent review with a contractor certified by the Building Performance Institute, Inc. (BPI), Certified Energy Managers (CEM), Certified Energy Auditors (CEA) or a Professional Engineer (PE). Make sure to take advantage of all of the cost-effective ways to save energy in your home. Step 2: Find a solar hot water installer. Homeowner must use a CEFIA Approved Contractor to qualify for a rebate. Review our list of Approved Contractors. The contractor will review your project with you, provide information on solar hot water systems and assist you with CEFIA’s application process. Locate an approved contractor at Step 3: Install your system!

Benefits of Owning a Solar Hot Water System
SHW systems are appealing because they are technically simple and tend to be less expensive than other types of renewable energy systems for most applications. The most cost-effective application in Connecticut is for domestic hot water (DHW) heating, particularly if it displaces electric water heating. While the capital cost of installing a solar thermal system for DHW is higher than that of installing a conventional water heater, the fuel savings can pay back the cost of the system in approximately 6 to 10 years, with federal and state incentives. The planet benefits from reduced greenhouse gas emissions and preservation of finite fossil-fuel resources for future generations. A typical residential SHW system supplies about 70% of a home’s hot water, saving 7.7 barrels of oil per year and avoiding the production of almost 3.5 tons of carbon dioxide! The local community benefits from improved air quality, greater independence from fossil fuels, and jobs created by the installation of these systems.

Incentives to Help Pay for Solar Hot Water Systems
The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) offers grants, through designated participating contractors, to any customer of Connecticut Light & Power or United Illuminating Company who wishes to install solar hot water systems. Funds will be restricted to domestic hot water and commercial process water systems only; space heating and pool heating systems will not be eligible. Grants are intended to support systems that will supply between 50% and 80% of a customer’s annual domestic or process hot water needs. Developers of new residential or nonresidential facilities in Connecticut may also apply for the incentives.

How Are Incentives Calculated?
Solar Hot Water incentives are in the form of rebates based on collector ratings provided by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC). The maximum rebated size of any installation will be limited by the domestic hot water needs of the building’s occupants. For commercial, industrial or institutional projects, the rebate limit will also incorporate the process hot water requirements of the facility. Residential Installations* „„ Multiplier is $70 times the SRCC Category "C" Mildly Cloudy rating. This will represent about 30% of the average system’s cost, with a range from 25% to 45%. Non-Residential Installations* Solar Hot Water systems are ideal for the following commercial entities: „„ „„ „„ „„ „„ „„ „„ „„ Apartment Buildings Breweries, Distillers & Wineries Carwash Facilities Dairies & Agriculture Hotels, Motels & Resorts Laundromats Restaurants Schools & Municipalities „„ Commercial solar hot water projects will be incented under a competitive bidding process to be announced on or before April 30, 2012.
*Please visit for up-to-date program information.

Special Note
Funding for this program is being provided as a transition from the Solar Thermal Rebate Program funded by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 to a longterm CEFIA-funded program which will rely primarily on attractive financing options. The long-term program will be launched by Summer 2012.

About the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority
The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority was created by Connecticut’s General Assembly as a part of Public Act 11-80, An Act Concerning the Establishment of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and Planning for Connecticut’s Energy Future. The Authority works closely with the newly created Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Department of Economic and Community Development to align the State's energy goals with its economic development mission.

865 Brook Street Rocky Hill, Connecticut 06067 T: 860-563-0015 F: 860-563-4877