The US EPA ENERGY STAR® Residential Water Heater Program was launched in 2009 covering several water heater types, including solar. SRCC became an EPA-Recognized Certification Body in 2013, and continues to provide certification for residential solar water heaters.
The EPA released an updated specification for the program, Version 4.0, and formally implemented it on January 5, 2022. Version 4.0 implements the Solar Uniform Energy Factor (SUEF or Solar UEF) metric, replacing the outdated Solar Energy Factor (SEF) metric. Click here to learn more about SUEF.
The eligibility requirements set by the current Version 4.0 specification are listed below.
|Eligibility Requirements for Solar Water Heaters (v.4.0)|
|1. CERTIFICATION: |
OG-300 for Solar Water Heating Systems
SUEF > 3.0 for systems with electric backup
SUEF > 1.8 for systems with gas backup
> 10 years for collector
> 6 years on sealed system
> 2 years on controls
> 1 year on piping & parts
To apply, manufacturers must first register as an ENERGY STAR partner, and receive a partner number. With that in hand, the manufacturer can apply to SRCC to get ENERY STAR certification for their solar water heater. SRCC staff will then confirm compliance and if successful, post the certification.
ENERGY STAR certified products are listed in two places - on the EPA ENERGY STAR Directory and the ICC-SRCC Listing Directory, providing recognition and proof of certification. Manufacturers receiving ENERGY STAR certification are eligible to use the well-known ENERGY STAR mark as established in the current ENERGY STAR Identity Guidelines.
Certifications are valid for a period of one year, and must be renewed with SRCC annually. Manufacturers must also comply with ongoing annual shipment reporting requirements made directly to the ENERGY STAR program. The deadline for submission is March 1, each year.
While ENERGY STAR certification is not mandated by the U.S. Federal Government or building codes, several renewable energy programs in various states do require the certification to obtain rebates and incentive funds for solar water heaters. And many manufacturers choose to pursue ENERGY STAR certification for the strong brand recognition among consumers.