Skip to page contents

Skip to Navigation







CSI Thermal Program

California Solar Initiative
CSI-Thermal Program Low-Income Program

Picture of Solar Water Heating System on roof from iStockPhoto iStock_000008462225XSmall

Incentives are now available for Solar Water-Heating Systems for Low-Income Single and Multifamily Residences!

The CSI-Thermal Low-Income Program provides rebates to utility customers who install solar water heating (SWH) systems that displace natural gas usage. On October 6, 2011, the CPUC approved a Decision creating the CSI-Thermal Low-Income Program, which allocates $25 million to promote the installation of solar water heating (SWH) systems on qualifying low-income single-family and multifamily residences through a program of direct financial incentives. Incentives are available to customers who currently heat their water with natural gas in the service territories of Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).

Single-family SWH systems that displace natural gas can qualify for incentives up to $3,750. Multifamily applicants can qualify for incentives up to $500,000. Actual incentive amounts will be based on the expected performance of the system as predicted by the SRCC rating and positioning, as is current practice in the CSI-Thermal General Market program. Single-family low-income SWH systems will be determined using the existing CSI-Thermal single-family calculator, and multifamily low-income SWH system will use the CSI-Thermal multifamily calculator. Incentive levels will decline in four steps as the program meets certain installation benchmarks.

CSI-Thermal Low-Income Program Incentive Levels

For each of the four steps, the tables below show the incentive level for single and multifamily.

Single-Family

StepSingle-Family Low-Income
Incentive per
Therm Displaced
Low-Income
Single-Family Cap
1$25.64$3,750
2$20.52$3,000
3$15.38$2,250
4$9.40$1,376

MultiFamily

StepMultifamily Low-Income
Incentive per
Therm Displaced
Low-Income
Multifamily Cap
1$19.23$500,000
2$15.39$500,000
3$11.53$500,000
4$7.05$500,000

Find out if you qualify

Incentives are available to customers who currently heat their water with natural gas in the service territories of Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).

Single-family residence must, among other requirements, meet either of the following:

  1. Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESAP) Eligible: Be participating or have previously participated in a Commission-approved and supervised gas corporation Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESAP). Property must remain low-income for at least 10 years, or
  2. Low-Income Residential Housing Definition: The residence must meet the definition of low-income residential housing in Section 2861(e), where the residence is financed with low-income housing tax credits or tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds and is tied to a deed restriction.

Multifamily housing property must, among other requirements, meet either of the following:

  1. Energy Saving Assistance Program (ESAP) Eligible: Meet the terms in Section 2866(c)(2) by demonstrating that at least 50 percent of all units in the multifamily housing structure are occupied by ratepayers that have or are currently participating in a Commission-approved and supervised gas corporation Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESAP). Building must remain low-income for at least 10 years, or
  2. Low-Income Residential Housing Definition: Meet terms under Section 2861(e), which defines low-income residential housing as a complex in which at least 20 percent of total housing units are sold or rented to lower income households AND are subject to a deed restriction.

For More Information