MassCEC’s Solar Hot Water program provides rebates for the installation of solar hot water (SHW) systems at businesses across Massachusetts. This program is part of MassCEC’s suite of Clean Heating and Cooling programs, which support technologies that provide customer cost savings and environmental benefits while maintaining a high level of comfort and reliability.

Rebates are available for businesses that receive electrical service from National Grid, Eversource, Unitil and participating municipal lighting plant communities.

Businesses should first select their installers, who will submit the rebate application on their behalf. MassCEC maintains a list of installers who have previously participated in the program. 

MassCEC recommends that residents:

  • Solicit proposals from at least three installers.
  • Check references from prior installations and ask the questions listed on our Solar Hot Water Installers webpage. 

Once you’ve selected an installer and are ready to move forward with the project, your installer should:

  1. Complete the system design.
  2. Apply for the rebate on your behalf and help you apply for other financial incentives.
    • Information on additional SHW incentives can be found on our Learn About Solar Hot Water page. 
    • The homeowner must provide the installer with a signed copy of the appropriate Participant's Agreement (small-scale Participant's Agreementcommercial-scale Participant's Agreement) and an electric bill, as well as other information about the project site. 
    • The business owner must schedule an energy audit to take place within the next six months if you have not had an energy audit within the past four years. 
    • MassCEC must approve the rebate award before installation begins.
  3. Once MassCEC issues an award letter, the installer may complete the system installation within nine months of the award approval date. 
  4. Once the project is complete, the installer submits documentation verifying the project is complete.
    • MassCEC may schedule an inspection prior to payment to ensure installation quality. 
    • Once complete, MassCEC will issue the rebate payment.

Payment will typically be issued within four to six weeks of the time the documentation is received. 

For small businesses installing eight or fewer solar hot water collectors, please read the Small-Scale Program Manual for full details on eligibility, program requirements, and rebates. For large businesses installing more than eight collectors, please read the Commercial-Scale Program Manual for full details on eligibility, program requirements, and rebates. Installers looking to participate in the program or apply on behalf of business owners should visit the Installer page.

How much will my rebate be?

Businesses are eligible for base rebates covering 40% of project costs with small-scale business base rebates capped at $20,000 and large-scale business base rebates capped at $100,000 per project. The system may also be eligible to receive additional funding (“adders”) which increase the amount of the rebate. For small businesses installing eight or fewer solar hot water collectors, please read the Small-Scale Program Manual for rebate adder details. For large businesses installing more than eight collectors, please read the Commercial-Scale Program Manual for rebate adder details.

Why isn’t everyone in Massachusetts eligible for this rebate program?

Projects receiving rebates through MassCEC must be located in a utility territory that contributes funding to the Renewable Energy Trust (RET), which includes communities served by investor owned electric utility companies or a participating municipal lighting plant

What is an MLP and where are they?

MLP stands for “municipal light plant” and refers to communities who are serviced by a publicly owned local utility instead of an investor-owned electric company, such as National Grid or Eversource. Some of these MLP communities contribute to the RET, which is the original source of our funding for rebates. We are unable to provide rebates to MLP communities that do not contribute to the RET.

MassCEC has authorized $10 million in funding for the Commonwealth Solar Hot Water Program from 2012 through 2020.

 

Please click here to download the commercial solar hot water projects database

For questions on the SHW program, please contact us at solarhotwater@masscec.com or (617) 315-9357.