Commonwealth Solar Hot Water Financing Program

The Commercial Solar Hot Water Financing Program assists commercial and non-profit building owners in installing solar hot water at little or no upfront cost. 

The program, managed by Paradigm Partners, is a $1 million initiative that aims to install six to 10 large-scale solar hot water systems throughout the state. The primary program objective is to grow the commercial solar hot water industry by driving down project development and construction soft costs, structuring replicable third party finance models, and field validating high efficiency solar hot water technologies. 

How the program works 

  • A private third party finances the construction, maintenance and operating costs of the solar hot water system.
  • The building owner signs a long-term contract* for stabilized water heating costs that are less than current rates.
  • The solar hot water system is monitored to ensure optimal performance.

*A variety of financing options will be available based on the situation of the building owner, including Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) or Energy Services Agreements (ESA).


  • Little or no capital cost to the building owner
  • Energy produced by the solar hot water system is sold back to the building owner at a competitive and stable rate
  • Risk and responsibility of operating and maintaining the system is the responsibility of the third-party owner
  • System is monitored by the third-party owner to ensure optimal production, which eliminates  performance-related risks to the building owner
  • Can allow tax incentives, normally not available to non-profit or public entities, to be realized

How to apply 

To apply for the program or for more information, contact Mike Hogan directly at Paradigm Partners at 781-219-4619 or

The following information will be required in order to qualify a site:

  • roof type and age 
  • fuel utility supplier
  • annual energy usage/costs (electric, oil, gas, propane)
  • participating sites must pay into the Renewable Energy Trust Fund. This includes all electric customers served by National Grid, NSTAR, Unitil (Fitchburg Gas and Electric), WMECO or a participating Municipal Lighting Plant community

Paradigm Partners will evaluate project sites based on the following criteria: 

  • Suitability of site and site conditions for solar thermal system (e.g. un-shaded roof, high hot water use and costs, etc.) 
  • Commitment of building owner and building owner’s understanding and expectations of the project. 
  • Development progress and timeframe relative to similar proposed projects. 

Paradigm Partners

Founded in 2010, Paradigm Partners provides turnkey design, build, and finance solutions to building owners in the commercial market, including multifamily, institutional, and industrial. They focus exclusively on renewable and clean technology systems to improve a client’s bottom line as well as the environment.  

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