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USA: Concerted Actions in California and New York

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 23, 2017
SEIA USAIt will require concerted actions by the industry to keep solar heating and cooling on the agenda of politicians and administrators of incentive programmes in the United States. The Californian solar industry achieved a partial victory in mid-May, when the state assembly approved the extension of rebates for gas-replacing solar thermal systems under the California Solar Initiative (CSI) - Solar Thermal by 2.5 years, even though the industry had called for five. On the east coast, negotiations with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) are still underway for a follow-up of the statewide solar water heater rebate programme, which ended in December 2016. In a policy paper published this February, NYSERDA announced it would make USD 15 million available to incentivise ground-source heat pumps, whereas rebates for solar water heaters were not planned. 
Image: Solar Energy Industries Association
 

USA/California: CALSEIA´s New President Promises to “Keep SHC on the Agenda”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 16, 2017
The California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA) named Ed Murray, a solar expert with more than 30 years of experience in the field, its new president in early January 2017. He succeeded Rick Reed, Director of California-based collector manufacturer Sunearth. Murray, a 25-year member of CALSEIA, is President of Aztec Solar, a solar heating and solar electricity system supplier from Sacramento, California. “He’s the right person to lead CALSEIA in the uncertain times ahead,” reads the press release sent the day after the election. “I attend meetings in the states and in Washington DC to make sure that SHC is kept on the agenda and not completely overshadowed by solar PV,” Murray describes his commitment to solar thermal. The photo shows Murray (right) and Anthony Rendon, Speaker of the California State Assembly.
Photo: CALSEIA
 

USA: Extended Tax Credits for Weak Solar Thermal Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 24, 2016
CalseiaAgainst all odds, the solar heating tax credits in the USA were extended again by 5 years. On 18 December 2015, the Consolidated Appropriations Act was signed, including an extension of the so-called federal Investment Tax Credits up to 2021. Originally, the tax incentives were expected to end on 31 December 2016 after an eleven-year period since 2005, with one previous extension in 2008. They allow both residential and commercial investors of solar PV and solar thermal systems to deduct 30 % of the investment costs at the next tax declaration.
Photo: Calseia.org

USA: Ups and Downs of Californian Incentive Levels and Application Numbers

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 25, 2015
USA California StatisticsIf there were an award for the most transparent support programme in the field of solar heating and cooling, then the California Solar Initiative (CSI) – Thermal Program would get the prize. The CSI-T programme offers a regularly updated and publicly available Excel file of all submitted, approved and paid applications, and this file also includes an amazing amount of additional information, such as collector size, system supplier, contractor for the installation, total project costs or the application itself. The chart above, provided by Lewis Bichkoff, Lead Analyst of the CSI Thermal Program at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), shows the subsidised and installed collector area per year. The annual volume shows significant growth from 953 m² (10,247 ft²) installed and granted during the first year to 36,641 m² (394,401 ft²) in 2014. In 2014, there was a noticeable dominance of pool heating systems, which made up 71 % of the total subsidised collector area.
Chart: CPUC
 

USA: More Incentives and Marketing in California

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 21, 2012

Demand for the California Solar Initiative (CSI) – Thermal Program is still below expectations. The second quarter of 2012 saw a mere 61 residential applications, as well as 40 applications for multi-family and commercial buildings submitted (see the attached report). Only the new section “multi-family houses for low-income families”, which was launched in March this year, had a good start and has already resulted in 67 applications in the second quarter of 2012. This is because the incentive level has been set to 150 % of the general programme’s incentive level.

USA: Solar Water Heaters May Loose Energy Star Label in 2012

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 19, 2011

 Energy costs Just two years after the first solar water heaters received the Energy Star Label, they may loose it again. Right now, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is revising the label's Water Heater Specification. It has found that solar water heaters are not in line with the principle of the Energy Star label, because they do not pay off quickly enough. The solar thermal industry worries that loosing the label would become a serious drawback for the reputation of solar water heaters in the US. The final draft of the specification is expected in January and the final version is going to be published by February.
Source: EPA

California: Subsidy Programme off to a Slow Start

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 28, 2010

 Intersolar North America ” The Intersolar North America held in San Francisco in the middle of July was at the right time and place for analysing the first experiences with the new incentive programme in California called California Solar Initiative (CSI) Thermal Programme. Photo: Bärbel Epp

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