CSI-Thermal Solar Rebates for Commercial Pools

As part of the California Solar Initiative, owners and operators of the nearly 40,000 multifamily and commercial swimming pools across the state are now eligible to receive a substantial rebate for installing a solar pool heating system.

Rebate Facts:

  • As many as 40,000 commercial pools in the state qualify
  • There is a rebate cap equal to 50% of the system cost
  • Both heated and unheated pools qualify, including replacement solar systems
  • Rebate amount based on estimated annual displaced therms of natural gas
  • $80,000,000 in program funding through 2017, or when funding runs out

Eligible Facilities Include:

  • Homeowner’s Associations (HOAs)
  • Public Municipal Pools
  • Multifamily Residential (Apartment Complexes)
  • Hotels & Motels
  • Schools & Universities
  • Gyms & Recreational Aquatic Facilities

Q: What is the CSI-Thermal Rebate Program?

A: The California Solar Initiative Thermal Program (CSI-Thermal), was created as part of the Solar Water Heating & Efficiency Act of 2007, with the purpose of promoting solar thermal (heating & cooling) technologies in the state of California.  The program is regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and awards rebates to solar thermal projects based on the amount of natural gas displaced by a given system.  Program administrators have a goal of 200,000 systems by the end of 2017.


Q: Why would the gas company pay for my facility to add solar pool heating?

A:  To offset the carbon footprint created by refining and burning fossil-fuels, utilities are often required to set aside a certain amount of funds for renewable energy projects.  The CSI-Thermal Program receives funding for project incentives through the ratepayers of several major state utility providers, including PG&E, SCE, SoCal Gas, and SDG&E.

Initially, solar pool heating was excluded from receiving an incentive under the CSI-Thermal Program.  However, as the program progressed slower than anticipated, Program Administrators made the decision to include multifamily residential and commercial pool heating.


Q: What are the requirements for eligibility?

A: In order to receive an incentive through the CSI-Thermal Program, a facility must be an existing natural gas customer of one of the participating utilities (PG&E, SCE, SoCal Gas, or SDG&E).  The solar equipment must be certified by IAPMO (alternatively, SRCC), and installation must conform to the manufacturer’s specifications and all applicable codes and standards. Installers must be approved by the CPUC.

In addition, per California Public Health Department Title 24, Section 3123B.2, “All pumps, filters, chemical feeders, skimmers and supplemental equipment shall comply with the applicable requirements established by the NSF/ANSI 50-2010 performance standard effective August 2010.” Currently, Aquatherm is 1 of only 2 solar pool heater manufacturers in the world (and the only one made in the USA) to be NSF-50 listed.


Q: How can I maximize my facility’s rebate?

A: There are three easy ways to maximize your facility’s CSI-Thermal rebate:

1.  Hire an experienced, qualified, and approved solar contractor, such as an Aquatherm Master Dealer, for your project.  Our Master Dealers have the technical knowledge to engineer the project correctly from the start, and the installation experience to ensure a long-lasting, quality system.

2.  When it comes to product selection, accept nothing less than the best.  Aquatherm Industries, Inc. is the largest manufacturer of solar pool heaters in the United States, and the only US solar manufacturer to meet the strict quality management standards of ISO 9001:2015. 

3.  ACT NOW!  2019 is the final year for the CSI-Thermal Rebate Program!  Call Aquatherm today at 732-905-9705 and our team will perform a FREE Performance & Payback Analysis and  help you find a qualified local Master Dealer, who can perform an energy audit and begin the rebate process immediately.