Investing in a solar thermal or solar hot water (SHW) system can be a smart energy solution for many businesses and institutions. If your facility uses a significant amount of hot water for purposes other than space heating, this proven and reliable technology offers long-term savings and performance with low maintenance.
Solar Hot Water Incentive Program
A Smart Energy Solution
Commercial Solar Hot Water Program
What Is a Solar Hot Water (SHW) System?
A SHW system generates heat from sunlight. The most visible components of a SHW system typically are the solar collectors, or panels, which are usually roof-mounted. For water heating systems, the rest of the system includes a tank for storing the heated water, a pump and piping to circulate the heated liquid (usually an antifreeze solution) from the collectors to a heat exchanger in the tank, which generates hot water or warmed air and a controller to automatically operate the pump.
Benefits of Solar Hot Water Systems
SHW systems are appealing because they are technically simple and tend to be less expensive than other types of renewable energy systems for most applications. The most cost-effective application in Connecticut is for domestic hot water (DHW) and process water heating, particularly if it displaces electric water heating or permits shutdown of oil-fired boilers in the warmer months. While the capital cost of installing a solar hot water system for DHW is higher than that of installing a conventional water heater, the fuel savings can pay back the cost of the system in approximately 3 to 8 years, with federal and state incentives.
The planet benefits from reduced greenhouse gas emissions and preservation of finite fossil-fuel resources for future generations. The average commercial SHW system supplied about 109 MMBtu (210,000 gallons) of useful hot water, saving about 800 gallons of fuel oil per year and avoiding the production of almost 10 tons of carbon dioxide!
The local community benefits from improved air quality, greater independence from fossil fuels, and jobs created by the installation of these systems.
Incentives Help You Go Solar
The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority, through a series of competitive Request for Proposals (RFP), offers incentives and financing to any commercial, industrial or institutional customer of CL&P or UI who wishes to install a solar hot water system. No one Customer Site or Project Owner may receive more than $150,000 in CEFIA funding for SHW projects on any one round, or $500,000 in total. The fourth round of solicitations was closed on December 7, 2012 and a fifth round of solicitations will be due by February 1, 2013
Steps to Take Smart Energy Action
Step 1 -
Complete an energy assessment for your building. You may participate in one or more of the incentive programs offered by the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund or schedule an independent review with a HERS Rater; a contractor certified by the Building Performance Institute, Inc. (BPI), Certified Energy Managers (CEM), Certified Energy Auditors (CEA); or a Professional Engineer (PE). Make sure to take advantage of all of the cost-effective ways to save energy.
Step 2 -
Find a solar hot water installer. Projects must use a CEFIA Approved Contractor to qualify for a rebate. The contractor will review your project with you, provide information on solar hot water systems and assist you with CEFIA’s application process.
As with any significant purchase, applicants should shop around when considering a solar hot water system, check references, seek as much information as possible and obtain multiple quotes.
Step 3 -
Links to Important Information:
Who is Eligible?
Any commercial, industrial or institutional customer of CL&P or UI that wishes to install solar hot water systems are eligible to participate.
Any site that uses a significant amount of hot (or warm) water on a daily, year-round basis can be a good location for SHW. The savings are highest when supplementing electric hot water heaters, but are also strong vs. oil heat and propane. “Hospitality” sites such as hotels, motels, hospitals, nursing homes, inns and YMCA/YWCA-type facilities are natural candidates. Residential schools and day schools that have showers or kitchens that are used on a year-round basis are excellent sites for SHW. Industrial or commercial sites that use a lot of hot water for their processes, such as car washes, laundries, food processing plants and restaurants can reduce their fuel costs by preheating their process water or boiler feedwater with sunlight.
What Makes a Good Location for a Solar System?
- A roof or wall facing south, southeast or southwest – Although a roof is the best location, a system can also be installed on a wall or the ground if a roof cannot be used.
- A 35 to 50 degree roof tilt –This allows for optimal year-round energy production. A solar hot water system can also be placed on a flat roof using a racking system or even on the side of a building.
- Clear access to the sun for most of the day –The location should be unobstructed by trees, roof gables, chimneys, buildings and other features of your facility or surrounding landscape.
- Adequate space on your roof or property – A typical solar hot water system requires an average of 100 square feet.
- A roof in good condition – If your roof needs to be replaced in the very near future, you may want to replace it before installing the solar hot water system to avoid the cost of removing and reinstalling your system.
Funding Available for the Commercial Solar Hot Water Program
Funding is being made available in five rounds as shown in the table below. Round 4 solicitations closed on December 7, 2012. Round 5 applications will be due on February 1, 2013.
|COMMERCIAL SHW PROGRAM||Total: $2,000,000|
|Round 1 – approved||$75,247|
|Round 2 - approved||$450,380|
|Round 3 - approved||$89,358|
|Round 4 - available||$575,000|
|Round 5 - available||$820,000|
Information on the projects approved for Rounds 1-3 is below.
|1||Premier Industries||942.4 sq. ft.||Thomaston||EcoSolar Installations|
|2||Owenego Inn||48.4 sq. ft||Branford||EcoSolar Installations|
|3||Stafford Public Schools||260.6 sq. ft.||Stafford Springs||C-Tec Solar|
|4||Old Saybrook Public Schools||86.9 sq. ft.||Old Saybrook||C-Tec Solar|
|5||Organon Market||141.4 sq. ft.||Chester||Evergreen Energy|
|1||Immanuel Congregational Church||103.6 sq. ft.||Hartford||AAA Plumbing|
|2||Hartford Road Café||188.5 sq. ft||Manchester||EcoSolar Installations|
|3||New Horizons||88.3 sq. ft.||Bristol||31 Solar|
|4||100 Howe Street||1,790.4 sq. ft.||New Haven||C&N|
|5||Stafford Public Schools - 153 W. Stafford Rd.||231.6 sq. ft.||Stafford Springs||C-Tec Solar|
|6||Nerac||848.2 sq. ft.||Tolland||EcoSolar Installations|
|7||Unifirst Corp||3,624.2 sq. ft.||Stafford||C-Tec Solar|
|8||Stafford Public Schools - 145 Orcuttville Rd.||289.5 sq. ft.||Stafford Springs||C-Tec Solar|
|9||Stafford Public Schools - 11 Levinthal Run||231.6 sq. ft.||Stafford Springs||C-Tec Solar|
|1||3 Coe Avenue (grant)||47.1 sq. ft.||Portland||Evergreen Energy|
|2||Beth-el Center (grant)||348.0 sq. ft||Milford||Sunlight Solar|
|3||Brown's Family Farm LLC (grant)||367.0 sq. ft.||Stamford||Mazur Mechanical|
|4||Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc. (grant/loan)||188.5 sq. ft.||Mystic||EcoSolar Installations|
|5||Elizabeth Adams Middle School (grant)||235.6 sq. ft.||Guilford||EcoSolar Installations|
|6||65 Edgewood Avenue (grant)||179.2 sq. ft.||New Haven||C&N Mechanical|
|1||608 Allen Street (grant)||807.6 sq. ft||New Britain||Energy Systems & Installations, Inc.|
|2||Jefferson Heights Housing LLC (grant)||463.2 sq. ft||New Britain||Sound Solar Systems, LLC|
|3||Automatic Rolls of New England (grant)||2,638.7 sq. ft.||Dayviille||EcoSolar Installations, LLC|
|4||499 Allen Street (grant)||403.8 sq. ft.||New Britain||Energy Systems & Installations, Inc.|
|5||W. Stafford Springs Elementary School (grant)||161.1 sq. ft.||Stafford Springs||C-TEC Solar|
|6||Two Roads Brewery (grant/loan)||3,624.6 sq. ft.||Stratford||EcoSolar Installations, LLC|
|7||New Century Gardens, LLC (grant/loan)||3,624.6 sq. ft.||Bridgeport||EcoSolar Installations, LLC|