SOLAR HEATING AND COOLING RESOURCES
The contents of this Section, including all opinions and other postings, are offered for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. You should consult directly with an attorney or accountant for individual advice regarding your particular situation.
WEBINAR - Evolution of Solar Thermal Requirements in US Building Codes
This webinar was originally presented in January, 2019, and provides an overview of the codes that impact the solar heating and cooling industry across the U.S. It identifies the relevant model codes and where they are adopted. It also notes states where local and amended codes are being used, creating localized requirements. The webinar describes ways key solar industry standards like SRCC Standard 100, 300 and 400 are referenced in the codes. It also shows how many other non-solar standards like NSF 61, NSF 372, UL 1703 and ASCE 7 can apply to solar heating and cooling systems. It ends by showing how certifications and listings are used to show compliance with code requirements.
Federal Investment Tax Credit for Solar Thermal Products
The federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) provides for tax credits for various renewable and energy efficient products in residential applications in some cases. Solar Water Heating equipment is addressed by this credit, which requires the product to be "certified for performance by the nonprofit Solar Rating and Certification Corporation or a comparable entity endorsed by the government of the state in which the property is installed." (2016 IRS Instructions for Form 5695, Cat. No. 66412G ). For more information consult the IRS Instructions for Form 5695 , IRS Instructions for Form 3468 and a qualified tax professional. Additional resources are provided below.
- ENERGY STAR Information Page on ITC for Solar Water Heaters
- DSIRE Information on the ITC
- SEIA Solar Investment Tax Credit Fact Sheet
California Solar Initiative Thermal Program (CSI Thermal)
The CSI Thermal program provides incentives for the installation of solar thermal systems for use in residential domestic water and pool heating applicaitons in covered regions of California. It is available to customers of the investor-owned utilities Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern CA Edison (SCE), San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E). It is a component of the Go Solar California campaign. The program offers incentives based on the performance of the system chosen, and utilizes online calculators to allow users to calculate estimated incentives. Systems must meet program requirements to be eligible, including certification to OG-100 and OG-300. Note that incentive funds for certain types of systems have been fully expended, and that the program is currently set to end on July 31, 2020 (see April 18, 2019 Guidance Letter below).
- CSI Thermal Homepage
- Standard 300 System Incentive Calculator
- Program Extension Guidance Letter - Apil 18, 2019
Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)
DSIRE is the a comprehensive online source of information on incentives and policies that support renewable energy and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University and is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. DSIRE contains information on many regulations and incentive programs for solar heating and cooling technologies, most of which reference SRCC OG-100 and/or OG-300 certification. The easy-to-use website allows users to seek out programs applicable to their U.S. state and technology and application of interest. Click here to learn more about DSIRE.
- Click here for DSIRE entries for Solar Water Heaters
- Click here for DSIRE entries for Solar Pool Heaters
- Click here for DSIRE entries for Small Wind Turbines
ICC-SRCC™ Overview of Overheat & Freeze Protection in OG-300 Certified Solar Thermal Water Heating Systems
Created by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (ICC-SRCC™), the document provides a review of various methods of for protecting solar thermal water heating systems from freeze damage or damage caused by extremely high collector temperatures in no-flow conditions (known as stagnation).
EPA ENERGY STAR® Residential Water Heater Program - Solar Water Heaters
The ENERGY STAR program was established by EPA in 1992, under the authority of the Clean Air Act Section 103(g). Section103(g) of the Clean Air Act directs the Administrator to "conduct a basic engineering research and technology program to develop, evaluate, and demonstrate non-regulatory strategies and technologies for reducing air pollution." In 2005, Congress enacted the Energy Policy Act. Section 131 of the Act amends Section 324 (42 USC 6294) of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, and "established at the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency a voluntary program to identify and promote energy-efficient products and buildings in order to reduce energy consumption, improve energy security, and reduce pollution through voluntary labeling of or other forms of communication about products and buildings that meet the highest energy efficiency standards." The EPA ENERGY STAR® Residential Water Heater Program took effect in 2009 for most of the current product types.
- ENERGY STAR Certified Products List (select Solar with Electric Backup or Solar with Gas Backup Type)
- Criteria for Qualified Solar Water Heaters
- How It Works - Solar Water Heaters
- ENERGY STAR Special Deals Finder
- Partner Requirements (References SRCC - OG300 as the Test Method Reference for determining ENERGY STAR qualification)
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) Energy Simulation Tools
Natural Resources Canada has developed and maintains energy simulation tools for low-rise residential buildings. The software was designed to support the EnerGuide Rating System, ENERGY STAR for New Homes and R-2000 energy efficiency programs. NRCan also supported the addition of Canadian One-Day Ratings to most ICC-SRCC™ OG-300 system certifications. This value, which is based on the conditions established in the CAN/CSA F379 Series-09 (R2013) - Packaged solar domestic hot water systems standard.
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