ALBANY, N.Y. — The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is broadening its Solar Hot Water Program statewide and including projects that displace hot water produced by heating oil, natural gas, propane, and wood, in addition to projects that displace electricity. The changes are expected to increase the number of households and businesses able to install solar hot water systems.

Previously, the program focused on displacement of hot water produced by electricity. NYSERDA is now accepting applications to the expanded Solar Hot Water Program on a first come-first served basis. Applications will be available through solar hot water installers for homes, commercial facilities, agricultural use, not-for-profits, and government buildings.

“This solar hot water expansion is an opportunity for more residents, businesses, and organizations to benefit from this clean energy resource,” said John B. Rhodes, president and CEO, NYSERDA. “As with Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative for solar electric systems, solar hot water can lower energy bills and improve the environment, while helping the state increase the use of renewable energy.”

Solar hot water systems can provide approximately 50 to 80 percent of a homeowner’s hot water needs and generally have a very attractive payback period. They can be especially valuable to businesses that heat large amounts of water, such as hospitals, dialysis centers, farms, hotels/motels/inns, restaurants, laundries, and car washes.

The Solar Hot Water Program has $4.3 million available from the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to displace hot water produced by electricity through the end of 2015, and almost $3.4 million from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to displace hot water produced by non-electric fuel sources.

The Solar Hot Water Program provides support to help homeowners reduce costs, and — with state and federal tax credits — can cover nearly half the costs of the system. Commercial and other non-residential facilities can obtain support from NYSERDA, federal tax credits, and an accelerated depreciation schedule.

Under new funding guidelines, the Solar Hot Water Program provides incentives of up to $6,000 per site for eligible one-to-four family homes and up to $150,000 per site for eligible commercial (including multifamily), agricultural, not-for-profit, and government facilities.

Financial support from NYSERDA is paid directly to the eligible installer and must be passed on, in full, to customers. To qualify, equipment must be certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corp. Financial assistance will be available only on approved solar thermal systems installed by NYSERDA-approved solar thermal installers.

For more information on NYSERDA’s Solar Hot Water Program, go to

Publication date: 4/20/2015

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