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California Solar Initiative Thermal - Business

Step 10 Non-Residential Update:  Due to an increase in application submittals for the Non-Residential CSI program, a waitlist has been established. As of October 1, 2014, all new projects will be addressed on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note, that projects on the waitlist are not guaranteed an incentive.

New applications submitted to the Non-Residential CSI-Thermal Electric and Solar Water Heating (SWH) programs will also be put on the waitlist since they share the General Market Non-Residential incentive.

Going solar can be rewarding. Installing an eligible solar water heating system at your business can help you save on your electric bill and reduce your carbon footprint. First, install a qualifying system; then, take advantage of California Solar Initiative Thermal rebates and bask in the savings.

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Thermal Incentives

Warming up to solar water heating at your business or multifamily complex? The California Solar Initiative Thermal Program offers you rebates and tax credits for installing an eligible solar water heating system, which captures the warmth of the sun, transfers that heat to water, and works with your conventional water heater to help it use less energy. If you’re thinking of making your business more green, CSI Thermal program rebates can help offset the cost of heating water at your business or multifamily complex.

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How Incentives Work

Rebates are available to businesses through the statewide California Solar Initiative Thermal program to help lower costs for the installation of electric and propane-displacing solar water heating systems, which can save you energy and money over the long term.

The rebate amount is calculated based on how much energy the solar water heating system displaces, with commercial rebates capped at $250,000 per site for electric and propane-displacing systems. Rebate amounts will decline over time, so rebates are at their highest point now.

Is the Equipment Eligible?

To be eligible for California Solar Initiative Thermal rebates, solar water heating systems must fulfill program requirements.


  • Must be new
  • Must have a warranty of 10 years or more


  • Residential solar water heating systems must have Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) OG-300 SWH System Certification.
  • Solar collectors used in multifamily residential, commercial or industrial water heating must have SRCC OG-100 SWH System Certification


Systems must be installed according to manufacturers specifications and all applicable codes and standards.

Learn more about requirements in our CSI Handbook


To participate in the program, contractors and self-installers must attend a one-day mandatory training. Installation contractors must be in good standing with the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) and have an active A, B, C-4, C-36 or C-46 license. View upcoming classes.

All systems must be installed according to manufacturers’ specifications and meet all applicable laws, codes, regulations, permits and installation requirements.

How to Apply

To participate in the program, contractors and self-installers must attend a one-day mandatory training. Sign up for training now

If the contractor (specifically the contractor license holder) or self-installer already completed the mandatory training, you can register and submit applications by going to the statewide application database located at www.csithermal.com.

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