Commonwealth Solar Hot Water Commercial Program (Massachusetts)

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Last modified on February 12, 2015.

Financial Incentive Program

Place Massachusetts

Name Commonwealth Solar Hot Water Commercial Program
Incentive Type State Rebate Program
Applicable Sector Agricultural, Commercial, Fed. Government, Industrial, Local Government, Multi-Family Residential, Nonprofit, Schools, State Government, Tribal Government
Eligible Technologies Solar Water Heat
Active Incentive Yes

Implementing Sector State/Territory
Energy Category Renewable Energy Incentive Programs
Amount Feasibility study: $5,000;

Construction grants: $45*number of collectors*SRCC Rating (Private); $55*number of collectors*SRCC Rating (Public/Non-Profit)
Massachusetts Manufactured adder: $200-$500
Metering adder: Up to $1,500
Natural disaster adder: 2*base rebate

Equipment Requirements Must be new, OG-100 and OG-300 certified, 10 year warranty (collectors), 2 year warranty (other system components)
Start Date 2011-08-04

Funding Source Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust Fund

Installation Requirements Must be installed where the collectors will receive at least 5 hours of sunlight a day (75% shade-free).

Maximum Incentive Feasibility study: $5,000;

Construction: 25% system costs or $50,000

Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits Not addressed

Program Budget 2011-2012: $1,000,000; 2012-2016: $10,000,000

Program Administrator Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC)

Last DSIRE Review 2012-09-19
Last Substantive Modification
to Summary by DSIRE

References Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency[1]


Feasibility study grants

Beginning in August 2011, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) will provide grants* for feasibility studies of commercial solar hot water systems through the Commonwealth Solar Hot Water Commercial Pilot Program. Commonwealth Solar Hot Water Commercial grants are available to electricity customers served by the following Massachusetts investor-owned electric utilities: Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light (Unitil), National Grid, NSTAR Electric and Western Massachusetts Electric. In addition, customers of certain municipal lighting plant (MLP) including Ashburnham, Templeton, Holden, Holyoke and Russell utilities are eligible. Only entities that live in territories that contribute to the MassCEC Renewable Energy Trust Fund are eligible for the grant.

Up to $5,000 is available for private entities, with a cost-share of at least 25%. The cap for public entities is also $5,000 but the cost-share requirement is only 5%. To be eligible, building owners must hire an experienced consultant to do the feasibility work. The project location must be appropriate and must have enough sun and the building must have year-round hot water needs. The application must also demonstrate that the time frame and budget required for the feasibility study are "reasonable." The consultant completes and submits the application and supporting documentation (such as aerial photos, copies of electric bills) on the building owner's behalf. All projects must be approved before feasibility study work begins.

It should be noted that a feasibility study is required to be eligible for construction grants.

Construction grants

The same eligibility requirements apply to construction grants as feasibilty study grants. Systems may be installed regardless of the source of back-up heating (not restricted to just electricity back-up). Third-party ownership is permitted. Rebates are calculated by multiplying $45 times the number of collectors times the SRCC rating (for commercial installations, public installations are eligible for $55 times the collectors times SRCC). There are adders available for components manufactured in Massachusetts, systems owners who participate in the MassCEC performance monitoring program, as well as for buildings impacted by the June 1, 2011 tornado in western Massachusetts (additional back up documentation is required to prove the building was impacted by the tornado). The rebates are capped at 25% system costs or $50,000.

Applications are completed online by the installer. Pre-approval is required and the installation must occur within 9 months of receiving approval. MassCEC may inspect any system after it is installed.

* Although the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center calls these "grants," these incentives are first-come, first-served and are non-competitive as long as all the eligibility criteria are met. Therefore, it falls under the categorization of "rebate" according to DSIRE methodology.

Incentive Contact

Contact Name Information - Commonwealth Solar Hot Water
Department Massachusetts Clean Energy Center

Address 55 Summer Street, 9th Floor

Place Boston, Massachusetts
Zip/Postal Code 02110


  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[2]


  1.  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency"
  2.  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)"

Rebates Grants Solar Water Heating Incentives

SWH Commercial Max $ $50,000
SWH Non-profit Max $ $50,000

SWH Commercial % Max 25%
SWH Non-profit % Max 25%

  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]


  1.  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)"