The CSI-Thermal Program closed to new applications on July 31, 2020. Applicants with projects that have received a confirmed reservation are still able to complete their projects and submit their Incentive Claim within their 18-month reservation window. For any questions, please contact your CSI-Thermal Program Administrator.

The CSI-Thermal program provided rebates to utility customers who install solar thermal systems to replace water-heating systems powered by electricity or natural gas.

On January 21, 2010, the CPUC approved a Decision creating the CSI-Thermal Program, which allocates $350.8 million to promote solar water heating (SWH) through a program of direct financial incentives to retail customers, training for installers and building inspectors, and a statewide marketing campaign.  (Although SWH is the focus of the program, some non-water heating technologies also qualified.)  Incentives were available to customers who heated their water with electricity or natural gas in the service territories of Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Southern California Gas Company.

Single family SWH systems that displace natural gas initially qualified for incentives of up to $4,366, while electricity-displacing systems qualified for incentives of up to $1,834.  Actual incentive amounts were based on the expected performance of the system as predicted by the SRCC rating and positioning.  Incentive levels declined in four steps as the program meets certain installation benchmarks.

Program Administrators

Customers  applied for incentives through their local program administrator, which in most cases was their utility that supplied the natural gas or electricity used to heat the customer's water.  The one exception is that the California Center for Sustainable Energy served as program administrator for customers of San Diego Gas & Electric. The contact information for the local CSI-Thermal Program Administrators can be found below.

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.