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The U.S. Department of Energy and the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center are excited to announce that a new, modernized DSIRE is under construction. The new version of DSIRE will offer significant improvements over the current version, including expanded data accessibility and an array of new tools for site users. The new DSIRE site will be available in December 2014. Staff are currently working hard on the new version of DSIRE but are also maintaining the content of the current version of DSIRE. Thank you for your continued support and patience during this transition. We hope you are as excited for December as we are!

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Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

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Commonwealth Solar Hot Water Residential Program   

Last DSIRE Review: 10/30/2014
Program Overview:
State: Massachusetts
Incentive Type: State Rebate Program
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat
Applicable Sectors: Residential, Multi-Family Residential
Amount:Base rebate: $75 X number of collectors X SRCC rating (Category D, Mildly Cloudy Day)
Additional $200/system for systems with parts manufactured in Massachusetts
Additional $500/system for metering installation
Additional $500/system for participants that have also installed solar PV on the same facility
Adder for moderate home value/moderate income of twice the base rebate.
Adder for natural disaster relief of twice the base rebate.
Maximum Incentive:$4,500 per building or 40% of total installed costs (whichever is less)
Equipment Requirements:OG-100 Collectors or OG-300 Systems certified by the SRCC
10-year manufacturer's warranty for collectors
2-year warranty for other system components
2-year comprehensive installation warranty
Installation Requirements:Shading, tilt, and orientation requirements apply
Funding Source:Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust Fund
Program Budget:2011-2012: $1,000,000; 2012-2016: $10,000,000
Start Date:02/07/2011
Expiration Date:12/31/2016
Web Site:


Since February 2011, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has provided rebates for the installation of residential solar hot water systems through the Commonwealth Solar Hot Water Program. Commonwealth Solar Hot Water rebates are available to electricity customers served by the following Massachusetts investor-owned electric utilities: Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light (Unitil), National Grid, NSTAR Electric, and Western Massachusetts Electric. In addition, customers of certain municipal lighting plants (MLP) including Ashburnham, Templeton, Holden, Holyoke, and Russell utilities are eligible. Only residents that live in territories that contribute to the MassCEC Renewable Energy Trust Fund are eligible for the rebate. In July 2012, the program was extended through 2016. The amount of funding currently remaining can be seen here.

The system must be installed at a residential building with 1 to 4 units, and the building must be occupied year-round. Any fuel may be used as a backup to the solar water heater. Pool heaters do not qualify for this rebate; however, space heating and combo systems do qualify. Third party-owned systems are also eligible.

Rebate Amounts

Incentive rates are determined by using the following equation:

$75 X (# of collectors) X (Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) rating)

In order to determine the SRCC rating of a particular solar hot water system, the MassCEC uses the SRCC rating for "Category D, Mildly Cloudy Day."  See to find the rating of a particular collector or refer to the MassCEC "Construction Application Instructions."

Rebates are capped at $4,500 per building or 40% of the total installed costs (whichever is less), not including bonuses. Residents can receive an additional $500 to cover the costs of a meter installation if the homeowner signs up for the MassCEC performance monitoring program, and an additional $200 if the system includes parts that are manufactured in Massachusetts. The MassCEC 
web site includes a list of known manufacturers that make solar water heater parts in Massachusetts. An additional $500 is also available for residents that have installed solar PV on the same facility by the time of application submission. Additional funding may be available for residents who were impacted by the June 1, 2011 tornado (in the Springfield area), or for residents that meet certain income or home value requirements. 

Application Requirements

Applications are available online. Installers submit the applications online for the customer. Once the application has been approved, an email will be sent to both the installer and the resident. The system must then be installed at the home within 9 months of receiving the approval email. After the installation, the installer will submit all necessary forms online, including photos, a completion form, a copy of the building permit, and invoices.

Audits will be performed on the first two installations performed by every installer. Residents have the option of participating in a metering program. The metering program will be used allow MassCEC to design the follow-up program to the pilot program. Interested customers should have the installer check the appropriate box on the application at the time of submission.

  Information - Commonwealth Solar Hot Water
Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
55 Summer Street, 9th Floor
Boston, MA 02110
Web Site:
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2014 - 2015 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.