For the past few years, Massachusetts has turned to solar to help in its economic recovery, primarily in solar photovoltaic systems. But solar thermal systems are now its focus. Last fall, it began a program to provide solar thermal water heating systems to low-income housing and recreational facilities across the state through the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. It awarded funds to the Low-Income Energy Affordability Network and the Action for Boston Community Development for about 18-25 solar thermal projects to reduce energy-related costs, thereby making them more affordable.
MassCEC also announced last fall a rebate program to help Massachusetts homeowners finance solar hot water projects - approximately $1,000 per system for a typical residential solar hot water system for a four to five person household, with additional rebates available for system components manufactured in Massachusetts. So far, 110 projects have been awarded rebates since the program officially began in February.
And just last week, a rebate program for commercial solar thermal projects was announced. The program will offer $1 million in grants to commercial and large multifamily building owners.