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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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New York

New York

Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

Printable Version
Solar Thermal Incentive Program   

Last DSIRE Review: 10/20/2014
Program Overview:
State: New York
Incentive Type: State Rebate Program
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Solar Water Heat
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential, Nonprofit, Schools, Local Government, State Government, Fed. Government, Multi-Family Residential, Agricultural, Institutional
Amount:$1.50 per kWh displaced annually, for displacement of up to 80% of calculated existing thermal load
Maximum Incentive:Residential: $4,000 per site/meter
Non-residential: $25,000 per site/meter
Incentive also capped at 80% of calculated existing thermal load
Eligible System Size:No limits specified
Equipment Requirements:All solar thermal systems and components must be new (used or refurbished monitoring meters permitted); collectors and hot water tanks must be SRCC-rated and listed as program eligible in Power Clerk; five year all-inclusive, fully transferable warranty required on installation and components against degradation of more than 10% from rated output.
Installation Requirements:System must generally supplement an existing electric water heater; system losses due to shading and orientation may not exceed 25% of ideal production without losses; installers must be pre-approved by NYSERDA (NABCEP certification required)
Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits:NYSERDA for first three years of operation; customer thereafter
Funding Source:Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) surcharge and Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
Program Budget:Total (2010-2015): $24.965 million (~$4.3 million annually)
Start Date:12/10/2010
Expiration Date:12/31/2015 (or until funds are exhausted)
Web Site:

NOTE: Beginning from October 17, 2014, Solar Thermal systems are eligible for low interest financing available through the Green Jobs/Green New York (GJGNY) program. More information on the financing is available here.


The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) offers incentives for the installation of solar water heating systems to residential and non-residential customers of the state's major investor-owned utilities. The program is part of the Customer-Sited Tier (CST) of the state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) affecting electric utilities.  The program is open to customers of investor owned utilities including: Central Hudson Gas & Electric, National Grid, Orange and Rockland Utilities and Rochester Gas and Electric.

The systems must generally supplement an electric water heater in order to qualify for the program. Both existing buildings and new construction are eligible for incentives. Otherwise eligible customers that use a fossil fuel (propane, natural gas, or oil) for water heating may be eligible for a small amount of non-RPS funding (contact NYSERDA for details and information on funding availability). 

Program Description

Incentives are based on the amount of electricity displaced by the solar water heating system. The incentive is set at $1.50 per annual kilowatt-hour (kWh) displaced, up to $4,000 for residential systems and $25,000 for non-residential systems. Though no specific limits on system size are identified, incentives are only available for the amount of displaced kWh that does not exceed 80% of calculated existing thermal load. Systems that displace higher percentages of thermal load may be eligible for funding, but the incentive would be capped at the 80% displacement level. The value for kWh displaced is based on the SRCC OG-300 estimate of system production and/or standard industry software such as RETScreen, or SolarPathfinder thermal program. The installer must analyze each system for energy production losses associated with shading, system orientation, tilt, etc. and provide this information to NYSERDA with the application. Incentive levels may be revised every two months based on program demand and market conditions. The incentives are paid directly to installers which is directly passed to the customers.
A total of roughly $25 million is available for incentives through December 31, 2015, funded from the RPS surcharge on customer electricity bills. Please see Program Opportunity Notice 2149 (PON 2149), listed as the program web site at the top of this page, for further information on the program.


Installers of eligible systems must be pre-approved by NYSERDA. As of June 30, 2012 approval requires certification by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). In addition to the installer requirements, there are also a variety of equipment requirements for eligible systems. Installers must perform a Clipboard Energy Audit for all residential (1-4 family homes) participants in the program, conduct a debriefing with the homeowner describing ways in which electricity use could be reduced, and provide the homeowner with information on NYSERDA and utility energy efficiency incentive programs, For non-residential participants, installers must provide information on the Energy Star Portfolio Manager Benchmarking Tool, assist the building owner in entering utility information into the tool (if desired), and provide information on NYSERDA and utility energy efficiency incentive programs.


Participants also have the option of financing solar thermal systems through the Green Jobs/Green New York (GJGNY) financing program. Loans for solar thermal equipment are made available through NY-Sun Loan program, which had been initially designed for solar PV systems. Starting from  October 17, 2014, solar thermal systems also qualify for financing through the program. This program offers low interest loans to both residential and non-residential customers. Participants can choose between either On-Bill financing or Smart Energy Loan. More information on financing is available at the NY-Sun Loan program post.  

  Marci Brunner
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
17 Columbia Circle
Albany, NY 12203-6399
Phone: (518) 862-1090 Ext.3415
Phone 2: (866) 697-3732
Fax: (518) 862-1091
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.