Solar Hot Water Incentive Program - Commercial

A Smart Energy Solution

Investing in a Solar Thermal or Solar Hot Water (SHW) system can be a smart energy solution for many businesses and institutions. If your facility uses a significant amount of hot water for purposes other than space heating, this proven and reliable technology offers long-term savings and performance with low maintenance.

What Is a Solar Hot Water System?

A SHW system generates heat from sunlight. The most visible components of a SHW system typically are the solar collectors, or panels, which are usually roof-mounted. For water-heating systems, the rest of the system includes a tank for storing the heated water, a pump and piping to circulate the heated liquid (usually an anti-freeze solution) from the collectors to a heat exchanger in the tank, which generates hot water or warmed air, and a controller to automatically operate the pump.

What Is a Good Host Site?

Any site that uses a significant amount of hot (or warm) water on a daily, year-round basis can be a good location for SHW.  The savings are highest when supplementing electric hot water heaters, but are also strong vs. oil heat and propane.   “Hospitality” sites such as hotels, motels, hospitals, nursing homes, inns and YMCA/YWCA-type facilities are natural candidates.  Residential schools and day schools that have showers or kitchens that are used on a year-round basis are excellent sites for SHW.  Industrial or commercial sites that use a lot of hot water for their processes, such as car washes, laundries, food processing plants, and  restaurants can reduce their fuel costs by preheating their process water or boiler feedwater with sunlight.

Incentives to Help Pay for Solar Hot Water Systems


The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority offers grants and loans, through designated participating contractors, to any customer of Connecticut Light & Power or United Illuminating Company who wishes to install solar hot water systems.


Step 1: Complete an energy assessment for your building. You may participate in one or more of the incentive programs offered by the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund or schedule an independent review with a HERS Rater; a contractor certified by the Building Performance Institute, Inc. (BPI), Certified Energy Managers (CEM), Certified Energy Auditors (CEA); or a Professional Engineer (PE). Make sure to take advantage of all of the cost-effective ways to save energy.

Step 2: Find a solar hot water installer. Homeowner must use a CEFIA Approved Contractor to qualify for a rebate. Review our list of Approved Contractors. The contractor will review your project with you, provide information on solar hot water systems and assist you with CEFIA’s application process.

As with any significant purchase, applicants should shop around when considering a solar hot water system, check references, seek as much information as possible and obtain multiple quotes.

Step 3: Apply under the Request for Proposals



Links to Important Information

  • Interim Solar Thermal Incentive Program Informational Meeting - August 17, 2012 - Click the thumbnail below