Solar Thermal Incentive Program (New York)

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Last modified on February 12, 2015.

Financial Incentive Program

Place New York

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

Implementing Sector State/Territory
Energy Category Renewable Energy Incentive Programs
Amount $1.50 per kWh displaced annually, for displacement of up to 80% of calculated existing thermal load

Eligible System Size No limits specified

Equipment Requirements All solar thermal systems and components must be new (used or refurbished monitoring meters permitted); collectors and hot water tanks must be SRCC-rated and listed as program eligible in Power Clerk; five year all-inclusive, fully transferable warranty required on installation and components against degradation of more than 10% from rated output.
Start Date 2010-12-10
Expiration Date 2015-12-31 (or until funds are exhausted)

Funding Source RPS surcharge

Installation Requirements System must generally supplement an existing electric water heater; system losses due to shading and orientation may not exceed 25% of ideal production without losses; installers must be pre-approved by NYSERDA (NABCEP certification required)

Maximum Incentive Residential: $4,000 per site/meter

Non-residential: $25,000 per site/meter
Incentive also capped at 80% of calculated existing thermal load

Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits NYSERDA for first three years of operation; customer thereafter

Program Budget Total (2010-2015): $24.965 million (~$4.3 million annually)

Program Administrator New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)
Date added to DSIRE 2010-12-11
Last DSIRE Review 2012-11-29
Last Substantive Modification
to Summary by DSIRE

References DSIRE[1]


The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) offers incentives for the installation of solar water heating systems to residential and non-residential customers of the state's major investor-owned utilities. The program is part of the Customer-Sited Tier (CST) of the state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) affecting electric utilities, thus systems must generally supplement an electric water heater in order to qualify for the program. Both existing buildings and new construction are eligible for incentives. Otherwise eligible customers that use a fossil fuel (propane, natural gas, or oil) for water heating may be eligible for a small amount of non-RPS funding (contact NYSERDA for details and information on funding availability).

Incentives are based on the amount of electricity displaced by the solar water heating system. The incentive is set at $1.50 per annual kilowatt-hour (kWh) displaced, up to $4,000 for residential systems and $25,000 for non-residential systems. Though no specific limits on system size are identified, incentives are only available for the amount of displaced kWh that does not exceed 80% of calculated existing thermal load. Systems that displace higher percentages of thermal load may be eligible for funding, but the incentive would be capped at the 80% displacement level. The value for kWh displaced is based on the SRCC OG-300 estimate of system production and/or standard industry software such as RETScreen, or SolarPathfinder thermal program. The installer must analyze each system for energy production losses associated with shading, system orientation, tilt, etc. and provide this information to NYSERDA with the application. Incentive levels may be revised every two months based on program demand and market conditions.

Installers of eligible systems must be pre-approved by NYSERDA. As of June 30, 2012 approval requires certification by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). In addition to the installer requirements, there are also a variety of equipment requirements for eligible systems. Installers must perform a Clipboard Energy Audit for all residential (1-4 family homes) participants in the program, conduct a debriefing with the homeowner describing ways in which electricity use could be reduced, and provide the homeowner with information on NYSERDA and utility energy efficiency incentive programs, For non-residential participants, installers must provide information on the Energy Star Portfolio Manager Benchmarking Tool, assist the building owner in entering utility information into the tool (if desired), and provide information on NYSERDA and utility energy efficiency incentive programs.

A total of roughly $25 million is available for incentives through December 31, 2015, funded from the RPS surcharge on customer electricity bills. Please see Program Opportunity Notice 2149 (PON 2149), listed as the program web site at the top of this page, for further information on the program.

Incentive Contact

Contact Name Marci Brunner
Department New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

Address 17 Columbia Circle

Place Albany, New York
Zip/Postal Code 12203-6399
Phone (518) 862-1090 Ext:3415
Phone 2 (866) 697-3732


  • 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)"