MassCEC Expands Program to Boost Solar Hot Water

Boston – Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) CEO Alicia Barton announced an increase in the rebate amounts available for individual projects completed under the Commonwealth Solar Hot Water program.

“Solar hot water systems present an opportunity for families and business owners to save money on their water heating bills,” said Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Rick Sullivan, who chairs the MassCEC Board of Directors. “Expanding rebates will make these projects more affordable, and hopefully allow more people across Massachusetts to participate.”

“By increasing the adoption of clean energy technologies like solar hot water, we can create local jobs and lessen our dependence on costly, dirty fossil fuels,” said Barton.

Launched first as a pilot program in 2011, the Commonwealth Solar Hot Water Program offers rebates for qualifying solar hot water projects at residential, multi-family, commercial-scale, municipal and non-profit buildings.

Under new guidelines, home and business owners will be eligible for rebates of up to 40 percent of total system costs, up to $4,500 for residential systems or up to $50,000 for commercial-scale systems.

Non-profit organizations and municipalities, who are not eligible for state and federal tax incentives, will be eligible for larger rebates, and additional funding will be available for projects that are installed alongside solar electricity systems.

Solar hot water systems use the sun’s natural energy to heat water for use in homes and businesses, often through roof-mounted panels that look similar to those used to generate solar electricity.

A solar hot water system typically provides between 50 and 75 percent of a household’s hot water needs, and can, in some cases, be used to provide space heating. Roughly 20 percent of the energy consumed by a typical Massachusetts home is used to heat water.

Since its launch, the Commonwealth Solar Hot Water program has helped facilitate the installation of nearly 500 systems across Massachusetts.