Skip to: Content | Footer | Accessibility
Click for RSS Feed of PUC Website     |    Resizing Fonts

  Search:    
Welcome to the California Public Utilities Commission
Skip Navigation LinksPUC > Energy > California Solar Initiative > CSI-Thermal Low-Income Solar Water Heating

CSI-Thermal Low-Income Program/Solar Water Heating

The CSI-Thermal Low-Income Program provides rebates to utility customers who install solar water heating (SWH) systems that displace natural gas usage.

On October 6, 2011, the CPUC approved a Decision creating the CSI-Thermal Low-Income Program, which allocates $25 million to promote the installation of solar water heating (SWH) systems on qualifying low-income single-family and multifamily residences through a program of direct financial incentives.  Incentives are available to customers who currently heat their water with natural gas in the service territories of Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).

Single-family SWH systems that displace natural gas can qualify for incentives up to $3,750.  Multifamily applicants can qualify for incentives up to $500,000.  Actual incentive amounts will be based on the expected performance of the system as predicted by the SRCC rating and positioning, as is current practice in the CSI-Thermal General Market program.  Single-family low-income SWH systems will be determined using the existing CSI-Thermal single-family calculator, and multifamily low-income SWH system will use the CSI-Thermal multifamily calculator.  Incentive levels will decline in four steps as the program meets certain installation benchmarks.

CSI-Thermal Low-Income Program Incentive Levels

For each of the four steps, the tables below show the incentive level for single and multifamily.

Natural Gas-Displacing Solar Water Heating Incentives

SINGLE-FAMILY

Column 1Column 2Column 3

Step

Single-Family Low-Income
Incentive per Therm
Displaced

Low-Income
Single-Family Cap

1

$25.64

$3,750

2

$20.52

$3,000

3

$15.38

$2,250

4

$9.40

$1,376

Single-Family Eligibility Requirements

The single-family residence must, among other requirements, meet either of the following:

  1. Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESAP) Eligible:  Be participating or have previously participated in a Commission-approved and supervised gas corporation Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESAP).  Property must remain low-income for at least 10 years, or
  2. Low-Income Residential Housing Definition:  The residence must meet the definition of low-income residential housing in Section 2861(e), where the residence is financed with low-income housing tax credits or tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds and is tied to a deed restriction.

MULITIFAMILY

Column 1Column 2Column 3

Step

Multifamily Low-Income
Incentive per Therm
Displaced

Low-Income
Multifamily Cap

1

$19.23

$500,000

2

$15.39

$500,000

3

$11.53

$500,000

4

$7.05

$500,000

The multifamily housing property must, among other requirements, meet either of the following:

  1. Energy Saving Assistance Program (ESAP) Eligible:  Meet the terms in Section 2866(c)(2) by demonstrating that at least 50 percent of all units in the multifamily housing structure are occupied by ratepayers that have or are currently participating in a Commission-approved and supervised gas corporation Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESAP).  Building must remain low-income for at least 10 years, or
  2. Low-Income Residential Housing Definition:  Meet terms under Section 2861(e), which defines low-income residential housing as a complex in which at least 20 percent of total housing units are sold or rented to lower income households AND are subject to a deed restriction,

for more information on program requirements, please refer to the CSI Thermal Program Handbook.

CSI Thermal Program Handbook

Program Administrators

Customers will be able to apply for incentives through their local program administrator, which in most cases will be the utility that supplies the natural gas currently used to heat the customer's water.  The one exception is that the California Center for Sustainable Energy will serve as program administrator for customers of San Diego Gas & Electric.  For more information about the availability of incentives in your area, contact your local CSI-Thermal Program Administrator.

Relying on clean, renewable power generation is a high priority for the CPUC and the State of California.  For more information on the CPUC's clean energy efforts, see our Renewables page.

  

Last Modified: 3/16/2012


 
 
Visit the CalPhoneInfo website!