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The City of Long Beach Solar Water Heating Program (SWHP)

Solar water heating is an excellent way to save on water heating costs, while also dramatically reducing your property’s carbon footprint. Solar water heating systems rely on an unlimited power source – sunlight – to generate hot water for your property while protecting you from future utility bill increases and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Long Beach Energy Resources Department offers rebates for residential (single family and multifamily), commercial and industrial customers that install solar water heating systems in their homes and businesses.

How does solar water heating work? 

A solar water heating system uses solar collectors mounted on your roof to capture the sun’s energy and transfer it to your domestic hot water supply.

 

When installing a solar water heating system, you won’t replace your existing water heater or central boiler. Rather, the SWH system serves as a pre-heat to your existing water heater, supplying solar heated water so your existing water heater works less. Because you keep your existing natural gas water heater, you’ll always have hot water, even when the sun doesn’t shine. A well-designed SWH system can reduce your water heating costs by as much as 75%.

How to claim a rebate

The City of Long Beach is offering rebates for qualifying solar water heating systems for single family residential, multifamily residential, commercial and industrial properties and commercial pools.

To qualify for a rebate, the solar water heating system must meet certain criteria, described in detail in the Program Handbook .

All SWHP rebates will be awarded in the following two-step process: 

  • Step 1: An SWHP eligible contractor submits a Reservation Request Form, along with supporting documentation, to the SWHP program administrator. Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Once completed the funds will be reserved for a six-month period for single family projects and an 18-month period for multifamily, commercial and industrial projects.
  • Step 2: Once the SWH system has been installed, permitted and is operational, the contractor submits an Incentive Claim Form and supporting documentation to the SWHP program administrator. Once all documents are completed, the program administrator will either schedule a field inspection (if required) or issue payment of the rebate.

The program will accept new Reservation Requests through July 31, 2020. All documents must be submitted on or before July 31, 2020 to be considered for a reservation. 

Rebate levels

Rebates are determined based on the expected annual performance of the solar water heating system, the incentive level for the corresponding budget program and other factors including shading and the orientation of the system. Incentive levels for the various programs are as follows.

Budget category

Budget subcategory

Rebate level ($/therm displaced)

Maximum rebate ($)

Single family residential

General Market

$29.85

$4,366

Disadvantaged Community

$29.85

$4,366

Low-Income residential

$36.90

$5,397

Multifamily residential and Commercial

General Market

$20.19

$100,000

Disadvantaged Community

$20.19

$100,000

Low-Income residential

$36.90

$100,000

Commercial Pools

$7.00

$100,000 or 50% of total system cost

Industrial Applications

$20.19

$100,000

For information on the remaining amounts in each budget category, please contact the program administrator at swhp@longbeach.gov

How to become an eligible contractor

To be eligible to apply for rebates through the City of Long Beach SWHP, contractors must meet the following criteria:

  • Hold an active A, B, C-4, C-10 or C-36 license, and
  • Be an eligible contractor in the California Solar Initiative Thermal Program, OR
  • Have completed a City of Long Beach SWHP How to Become an Eligible Contractor workshop, offered via free webinar by the Center for Sustainable Energy.
Contractors meeting the above criteria can submit a completed Contractor Application Form to the SWHP Program Administrator at swhp@longbeach.gov.

A list of eligible contractors will be posted to this site and updated regularly.

Program forms and resources

Contact

If you have any questions about the City of Long Beach Solar Water Heating Program, please don’t hesitate to contact us:

Phone: (562) 570-2116

Hard copies of application forms or other supporting documentation can be mailed to the SWHP program administrator at:

Center for Sustainable Energy
Attn: City of Long Beach Solar Water Heating Program
3980 Sherman St. Suite 170
San Diego, CA 92110