Solar Thermal Rebate Added to the Mix in DC

By Emily Steiver on April 17, 2012

The District of Columbia has announced a rebate for solar thermal – something that has been in the works for quite some time.  With the new 20% DC rebate, the available 30% Federal tax credit, and the solar renewable energy credits (srecs) that you can sell — the three subsidies will pay for a large chunk of your system.  Your energy savings from reduced hot water or space heating will quickly allow you to quickly recoup your investment.

Because of the previous DC rebate structure, many residents opted to go for solar photovoltaic panels first (or instead of solar thermal).  For those that have available room left on your roof, now is the chance to move out solar thermal.  It is unclear how long the window will be open for DC rebates.  What I’ve been told by the Department of the Environment is that approximately $150,000 of the $2 million available for solar rebates in 2012 will be carved out for solar thermal.  This might fund about 75 residential projects (less if funding goes to larger commercial projects).  Hopefully, this is the start of more rebates to come in future years.

According to DDOE officials, if you have recently installed a solar thermal system, you might still be eligible for a rebate – so do put your name on the waiting list.  DC Solar United Neighborhoods (DC SUN) and the Capitol Hill Energy Coop are working on some solar thermal pilot projects now, and more information will be available about those installations soon.  To learn more, below is the information sent by DDOE, along with a link to the program website where you can put your name on the waiting list.  Before moving forward, you will want to look over the new solar thermal program guide.  Also, be sure to review the list of registered, approved installers (getting multiple bids is always a good idea).   If you have questions, experiences to share on solar thermal installations, comments, or ideas on how DC SUN can leverage bulk purchases for solar thermal, please do join our discussion forum.

Mike Barrette

DDOE email communication regarding solar thermal rebates

The District of Columbia‚s Renewable Energy Incentive Program Solar Thermal Incentive For 2012

Effective, Wednesday, April 11, 2012, and in accordance with the Clean and Affordable Energy Act of 2008, the District Department of the Environment Renewable Energy Incentive Program (REIP) will provide financial incentives to eligible applicants in the District to help install Solar Thermal systems.

Eligible projects may include, but are not limited to, the installation of systems on single and multi-family dwellings as well as commercial buildings and institutional organizations.

Renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal and/or biomass can help to reduce dependence on a shrinking supply of fossil fuels and greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

We encourage you to apply to the program. Please visit for more information.