About Solar Hot Water

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) provides financial incentives to help with the installation costs of a solar hot water system at your home or business.

A solar hot water system captures heat from sunlight and circulates the thermal energy to your water tank. Solar hot water systems reduce the usage of traditional water heating fuels (such as oil, electricity, or natural gas) and thereby reduce the amount you spend purchasing these fuels. These systems do not fully replace conventional water heaters, but can provide up to 80% of a building’s total hot water needs.

For more details on how solar hot water systems work, please read our Residential Guide to Solar Hot Water and visit the solar hot water page on energysavers.gov.

Economics of Solar Hot Water

Solar hot water systems reduce the usage of traditional water heating fuels, such as oil, electricity, or natural gas, and thereby reduce the amount you spend purchasing these fuels.

The following are factors that affect the economics of a solar hot water system: 

  • System Design: Systems should be un-shaded and face generally south in order to maximize sun exposure. Systems should use certified equipment that is properly sized to meet the building’s specific heating load. 
  • Installation Costs: To familiarize yourself with residential project costs, please see the Commonwealth Solar Hot Water program’s Awarded Project Database.
  • Fuel type offset: Because heating your water with oil, electricity or propane is more expensive than heating your water with natural gas, solar hot water systems replacing these fuel types have better payback periods than systems replacing natural gas.

By taking advantage of the Commonwealth Solar Hot Water rebates, federal and state tax credits, the MassSave HEAT Loan and/or other loans or financing options, you may be able to offset the upfront costs of your solar hot water system by more than 50 percent.

 

Related Programs

Commonwealth Solar Hot Water On September 1, 2014, the Commonwealth Solar Hot Water program announced changes to the solar hot water construction applications. For more information, please see the "Commonwealth Solar Hot Water, Summary of Changes - September 2014" document below.
Community Energy Strategies The Community Energy Strategies Program (CESP) is an initiative developed by MassCEC in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Green Communities Division. The program, delivered in partnership with local officials and community volunteers, helps communities identify and develop strategies for implementing the mix of clean energy projects and incentives best suited to address local interests, needs, and opportunities for clean energy development across all sectors.
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