CSI-Thermal – Frequently Asked Questions
- What rebate programs are available for installing solar water heating?The California Solar Initiative (CSI)-Thermal program provides incentives to eligible residential and non-residential customers.
- Who is eligible for the CSI-Thermal program?Eligible customers include gas or electric water heating customers of PG&E, San Diego Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison or Southern California Gas.
- What if I am not an electric or gas customer of the above utilities?Only customers of the above utilities are eligible to receive a rebate under the CSI-Thermal program. However, you should check with your electric and gas providers to find out if they offer any solar water heating rebates or if you qualify for federal tax deductions.
- Am I eligible if I heat my water with propane?As of January 2012, Propane water heating customers are eligible if they receive elctric service from PG&E, San Diego Gas and Electric, or Southern California Edison.
- Will solar pool heating be eligible for the CSI-Thermal program?Solar pool heating will not be eligible to receive a rebate under the CSI-Thermal program.
- What are the incentive amounts?The rebate program consists of a four-step declining incentive structure over the life of the program. The rebate is calculated based on the expected energy savings of your solar water heating system. Incentive amounts depend on your current water heating fuel source (e.g., natural gas or electricity). The exact incentive amounts can be found on the Incentives page.
- What equipment is eligible to receive a rebate through the CSI-Thermal program?Solar water heating equipment must be certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) or International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO). SRCC or IAPMO OG-300 certified equipment must be installed on single-family homes, and SRCC OG-100 certified collectors must be installed on multi-family and commercial buildings.
Currently, only solar water heating technology will be eligible for the rebate. Other solar thermal technologies such as space heating, radiant floor heating and space cooling may be introduced into the rebate program at a later date.
- What if I am installing solar to heat my home?Currently, only solar water heating technology will be eligible for the rebate. Other solar thermal technologies such as space heating, radiant floor heating and space cooling may be introduced into the rebate program at a later date.
- What are the contractor participation requirements?Contractors must have an active A, B, C4, C36, or C46 license from the California Contractor State License Board (CSLB). The license holder must also attend the mandatory CSI-Thermal Workshop www.pge.com/solarclasses.
- What is the application process for the rebate?In general, contractors will be responsible for submitting the rebate applications. The program administrators (PG&E, Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas and the California Center for Sustainable Energy) have developed an online application database www.csithermal.com, where CSI-Thermal applications can be completed and submitted.
- What can I do to prepare my installation team?You should attend the CSI-Thermal Program Workshop as soon as possible. We recommend you become very familiar with the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation installation guidelines. It is also strongly encouraged for you to seek training from solar water heating equipment manufacturers.
- How can I learn more?