Time to Get Moving; Most MA Solar Hot Water State Funds Remain Unused for 2012

solar hot water

A solar hot water (solar thermal) panel may look very similar to solar PV panels.

A new multi-year program worth $10 million has been announced by The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC).  Homeowners and businesses throughout the Commonwealth are encouraged to install solar hot water systems with the help of this long-term program.  This investment will advance the MA solar hot water industry by stabilizing funding assistance for those seeking to cut energy costs and utilize clean energy from the sun.

Two pilot solar hot water programs in Massachusetts have preceded this program.  Since February 2011, 300 commercial-scale and residential systems have been awarded rebates.  The new program is similar to the pilot programs in that it will award rebates to solar hot water projects in commercial and residential buildings which qualify.

Some of the benefits of this MA solar hot water program include:

• Jobs at installation and solar hot water manufacturing companies will be created.
• Greenhouse gas emissions will be significantly reduced.
• Homeowners and businesses will be equipped to cut their heating costs, which make up a significant portion of utility bills.

solar hot water

After the water is heated by the sun, it is sent to the hot water storage tanks in your home.

About Solar Hot Water Systems

• Thermal energy from sunlight is generated by solar hot water systems and used to heat water.
• Solar collectors for hot water systems are roof-mounted and have a similar appearance to solar photovoltaic (PV) panels.  A difference is that hot water systems generate hot water and solar PV panels generate electricity.
• Approximately 50% to 75% of a household’s total hot water needs is typically provided by a solar hot water system.
• The solar systems which heat water can also be utilized to provide space heating.
• On average, 20 percent of a typical Massachusetts home’s energy is consumed for the purpose of heating water.  The financial benefit of solar hot water systems is that they can help cut costs, since a smaller amount of electricity, gas, or oil is used.

An Overview of Completed Projects

MassCEC was created in 2008 by the Green Jobs Act, and it has funded completed projects through the Commonwealth Solar Hot Water Residential and Commercial Pilot Programs.
• Projects encompass nearly 15,000 square feet of solar collectors.
• The amount of energy produced is equivalent to all hot water needs of 140 homes for one year.
• 55 primary installers in total have been successful in completing an application through the pilot program.

Current Funding

• Between 2012 and the end of 2016 – a 4.5-year period – the funding for the program from MassCEC’s Renewable Energy Trust Fund will be distributed.
• Between now and the end of 2012, $1.5 million is available.

About MassCEC

solar thermalThe purpose of MassCEC is to accelerate the use of renewable energy and the success of clean energy companies, projects, and technologies in Massachusetts.  The organization also has a dedication to creating long-term economic growth and high-quality jobs.

MassCEC connects, partners with, and is a clearinghouse for people making investments in clean energy companies and for those in the clean energy sector.  The organization also helps to build a robust clean energy workforce and supports renewable energy projects which are sited responsibly throughout the Commonwealth.

To take advantage of these great solar incentive programs in Massachusetts contact our NASS member Solar Store in Barre, MA while the funding is available!

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