Sign up to learn more about Solar Water Heating and the CSI-Thermal Program Rebates
California Solar Initiative-Thermal Program Rebates
If you’re one of those Californians who’s doing your part to help the environment by recycling, using low-flow showerheads, weather-proofing your home, and/or driving a low-emission vehicle, here’s the next step in your green routine: Solar Water Heating (SWH).
What is Solar Water Heating?
A solar water heating system captures the warmth of the sun, transfers that heat to water and works with your conventional water heater to help it use less energy.
Unlike solar power systems (photovoltaics or “PV”) that collect light energy (photons) from the sun and convert it into electricity, solar water heating systems absorb the heat energy of the sun and use it to heat water. Since it involves heat energy the technology is referred to as solar thermal.
What are its benefits?
Solar water heating can have a number of benefits, including:
- Reducing the amount of energy used to heat your water
- Lowering the cost of heating your water
- Reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions
What is the California Solar Initiative – Thermal Program?
The CSI-Thermal Program offers cash rebates to SoCalGas customers who purchase and install qualifying solar water heating systems in the following categories:
- Single-family homeowners
- Multi-family dwelling owners and/or property managers
- Commercial & industrial customers
Rebates are based on how much energy the solar water heating system is expected to save annually.
How much are the rebates?
The maximum rebate that can currently be awarded to single-family residential customers is $2,719.
Income-eligible single-family residential customers who are participating in a CPUC-approved gas corporation Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESAP), or who have income-eligible renters that meet the requirements in Public Utilities Code (PUC) Section 2861(e), can receive rebates of up to $3,750.
The maximum rebate that can be awarded to multi-family dwelling and commercial customers is $500,000.
Multi-family dwellings that qualify for the income-eligible program can currently receive a higher rebate level up to a maximum of $500,000 per site.
Who can install a rebate-eligible system?
To be eligible for a CSI-Thermal Program rebate, a qualifying* SWH system must be installed in one of the two following ways:
1. By an eligible contractor
- To be eligible, a contractor must be licensed by the State of California Contractors State License Board (CSLB), have an active A (Engineer), B (General), C-4 (Boiler, Hot Water Heating and Steam Fitting), C-36 (Plumbing) or C-46 (Solar) contractors’ license and be in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the CSLB.
- Contractors must also attend a CSI-Thermal contractor/installer training workshop presented by one of the four Program Administrators in the state to be certified in the program.
- Each contractor who meets these requirements is included in the CSI-Thermal Program’s list of eligible contractors that is publicly available.
2. By a self-installer
- Self-installations are permitted in the CSI-Thermal Program. Homeowners or building owners who choose to install a SWH system on their property must attend a CSI-Thermal Program contractor/installer training workshop in order for their SWH system to be eligible for a rebate.
- Self-Installers are also required to comply with all applicable laws, codes, regulations, permits and installation requirements.
*Restrictions, requirements and qualifications apply.
How do I apply for the rebate?
Applications must be completed online at the csithermal.com. *
If you are a contractor or self-installer who attends the no-cost mandatory one-day training workshop you will be issued a Registration Key code at its conclusion. You will need this code to create an account at csithermal.com * and apply for your incentive online.
If you hire a contractor to install your solar water heating system, your contractor will use their Registration key code to create an account at csithermal.com * and apply for your incentive online.
All rebate applications must also include a completed no-cost online Home Energy Efficiency Survey.
For More Information
- Assembly Bill 1470 (PDF) *
Program is funded by California utility customers and administered by Southern California Gas Company under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. Other terms and conditions apply. Southern California Gas Company is not responsible for goods or services selected by the customer.