The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is broadening its Solar Hot Water Program to include projects that displace hot water produced by heating oil, natural gas, propane and wood. Previously, the program focused on displacement of hot water produced by electricity. The changes are expected to increase the number of households and businesses that are able to install solar hot water systems and help scale up adoption of solar hot water technologies.
The program changes align with the state’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) to create a cleaner, more reliable and more affordable energy system in New York State. The changes are a precursor to a more comprehensive effort to overcome market barriers under the proposed Clean Energy Fund, starting in 2016.
Commercial and other non-residential facilities can obtain support from NYSERDA, federal tax credits and an accelerated depreciation schedule, and under new funding guidelines, the Solar Hot Water Program provides incentives of up to $150,000 per site for eligible commercial, agricultural, not-for-profit and government facilities.
Financial support from NYSERDA is paid directly to the eligible installer and must be passed on, in full, to customers. To qualify, equipment must be certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation. Financial assistance will be available only on approved solar thermal systems installed by NYSERDA-approved solar thermal installers.
NYSERDA will also feature solar thermal technology through the existing “Solarize” program, a customer acquisition model that uses locally organized community outreach efforts to attain a critical mass of area homes and businesses to install solar hot water systems, obtain competitive pricing and lower the cost.
NYSERDA will begin accepting applications to the expanded Solar Hot Water Program on March 20.