Commonwealth Solar Hot Water Residential Program (Massachusetts)

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Last modified on February 12, 2015.

Financial Incentive Program

Place Massachusetts

Name Commonwealth Solar Hot Water Residential Program
Incentive Type State Rebate Program
Applicable Sector Multi-Family Residential, Residential
Eligible Technologies Solar Space Heat, Solar Water Heat
Active Incentive Yes

Implementing Sector State/Territory
Energy Category Renewable Energy Incentive Programs
Amount Base rate: $45 X SRCC rating in thousands btu/panel/day (Category D, Mildly Cloudy Day)

Additional $200/system for systems with parts manufactured in Massachusetts
Additional $1,500/system for metering installation
Adder for natural disaster relief of twice the base rebate.

Equipment Requirements OG-100 Collectors or OG-300 Systems certified by the SRCC

10-year manufacturer's warranty for collectors
2-year warranty for other system components
2-year comprehensive installation warranty

Start Date 2011-02-07
Expiration Date 2016-12-31

Funding Source Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust Fund

Installation Requirements Shading, tilt, and orientation requirements apply
Shading, tilt, and orientation requirements apply

Maximum Incentive $3,500 per building or 25% of total installed costs

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

Program Administrator Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC)
Date added to DSIRE 2011-01-13
Last DSIRE Review 2012-09-19
Last Substantive Modification
to Summary by DSIRE

References DSIRE[1]


Since February 2011, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) provides rebates for the installation of residential solar hot water systems through the Commonwealth Solar Hot Water Pilot Program. Commonwealth Solar Hot Water rebates 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 residents that live in territories that contribute to the MassCEC Renewable Energy Trust Fund are eligible for the rebate. In July 2012, the program was extended through 2016.

In addition, the system must be installed at a residential building with 1 to 4 units. The building must be occupied year-round. Any fuel may be used as a backup to the solar water heater. Pool heaters do not qualify for this rebate; however, space heating and combo systems do qualify.

Incentive rates are determined by using the following equation:

$45 X (# of collectors) X (Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) rating)

In order to determine the SRCC rating of a particular solar hot water system, the MassCEC uses the SRCC thousands btu/panel/day rating for "Category D, Mildly Cloudy Day." See [1]] to find the rating of a particular collector or refer to the MassCEC "Construction Application Instructions."

Rebates are capped at $3,500 per building or 25% of the total installed costs, not including bonuses. Residents can receive an additional $1,500 to cover the costs of a meter installation if the homeowner signs up for the MassCEC performance monitoring program, and an additional $200 if the system includes parts that are manufactured in Massachusetts. The MassCEC web site includes a list of known manufacturers that make solar water heater parts in Massachusetts. Additional funding may be available for residents who were impacted by the June 1, 2011 tornado (in the Springfield area), or for residents that meet certain income or home value requirements. This incentive may be used in combination with other state, federal, and utility loans and rebates.

Applications are available online. Installers submit the applications online for the customer. Once the application has been approved, an email will be sent to both the installer and the resident. The system must then be installed at the home within 9 months of receiving the approval email. After the installation, the installer will submit all necessary forms online, including photos, a completion form, a copy of the building permit, invoices, and a W-9 from the system owner.

Audits will be performed on the first two installations performed by every installer. Residents have the option of participating in a metering program. The metering program will be used allow MassCEC to design the follow-up program to the pilot program. Interested customers should have the installer check the appropriate box on the application at the time of submission.

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.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)"

Rebates Grants Solar Space Heating Incentives

SSH Residential % Max 25%

SSH Residential Max $ $3,500

Rebates Grants Solar Water Heating Incentives

SWH Residential Max $ $3,500

SWH Residential % 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)"