Solar hot water heaters should be flying off the shelves inMassachusetts next week, as the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center(MassCEC) will implement a new solar rebate program that will cut the cost of installing a solar hot water heater on a home in half.
The amount of rebate money you can receive from the program forinstalling a residential solar hot water heater varies according tosize. Here’s how it breaks down:
A four-person household would require about 81 square feet of solarhot water panels atop their home. The homeowner would receive a $1,000rebate for such a system. Another $200 would be available if thehomeowner’s system used equipment that’s made in Massachusetts. By nowI’m sure you’ve realized that $1,200 doesn’t cover half the cost of theinstallation. But it does when you combine this new rebate with a30-percent tax credit.
Unlike a solar photovoltaic (PV) system, which produces electricity, a solar hot water system uses the sun’s heat to warm the water used inyour house. How much energy you’ll save with a solar water heaterdepends on the amount of sunlight you get and how many solar collectorsyou install. Generally speaking, a system can meet somewhere in therange of 50 percent to 75 percent of a home’s hot water needs.
If you’re thinking about installing a solar hot water system inMassachusetts, make sure you’re a customer of a utility thatparticipates in MassCEC’s Renewable Energy Trustfund. You’ll be able to figure this out by simply looking at your utilitybill. Participating utility companies charge their utility customers asmall monthly fee so that they can participate in MassCEC’s clean energy programs. As far as we know, the following utilities are participatingin the program: NSTAR, National Grid, Unitil, Western MassachusettsElectric Co. and municipal power companies in Ashburnham, Templeton,Holden, Holyoke and Russell.
MassCEC is already accepting early applications for the rebate, soact now and take full advantage of this latest offer. To learn moreabout the new program and how you can benefit from installing a solarhot water system, check out MassCEC’s webinar and rebate information guide.