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Solar Water Heating

Solar-powered heating incentives.

UES is offering incentive payments for commercial solar water systems to encourage the installation of solar power. Solar water heating systems are best suited in areas that receive a relatively high amount of annual sunshine like Arizona.

Renewable Energy Credit Purchase Program

Is solar water heating right for me?

Depending on the availability of unshaded sunlight and the amount of water usage at your business, solar water heating can be a very efficient technology. The decision to install one of these systems should be made after you consider a variety of factors. Local building codes, availability of sunlight, maintenance requirements and the cost of other alternative energy options, should all enter into your decision to install a solar water heating system. In most populated areas of Arizona there if plentiful sunshine and current utility, state, and federal incentives make this a very economical choice.

What are the benefits of installing solar water heating systems?

    Sunlight is a clean renewable energy resource that has been used for many years. Some benefits of solar water heating are:
  • Produces no emissions and is replenished naturally
  • Reduces greenhouse gases
  • Saves the release of 2 lbs. of carbon dioxide (CO2) for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) produced
  • Saves the use of one-half gallon of water for each kWh of solar energy produced
  • Saves the release of other emissions that result from the burning of fossil fuels such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide or mercury
  • Makes use of one of Arizona's greatest natural resources - sunshine
  • Provides customers with options to reduce their electric bills.
  • Is very cost effective with payback periods of as little as five years

What incentives are available to UES customers?

UES offers a variety of incentives based on the total amount of kilowatt hours (kWh) your solar-powered heating system produces per year.

Table 1. Maximum UFIs for non-residential projects based on annual output.

System 20-Year UFI1
400,000 kWh or less annual output $0.402
  1. An up-front incentive (UFI) provides customers a one-time payment based on their system size, which is in watts per DC (direct current). In turn the customer would sign a credit purchase agreement assigning UES the renewable energy credits for 20 years.
Note: Projects receiving a UFI can receive no more than 50% of the system cost in the total incentive payout. Also, UES incentives in combination with all federal and state credits can be no more than 85% of total project costs. A customer must cover at least 15% of total project costs.
    Who is eligible for the incentives?
  • You must be a UES customer.
  • The solar water heating system must be installed at a UES service address.
  • You must purchase and install a qualifying solar water heating system for this incentive.
  • The solar water heating system must be located within the UES certificated service territory.

Ready to get started?

Click the sign-up button for installer resources such as forms, applications, agreements and more.


Equipment Qualifications

  • Solar collector panels used will have a SRCC OG-100 certification or laboratory documentation showing the panel energy output under controlled and replicable test conditions.
  • If annual energy production is expected to exceed 10,000 kWh or equivalent, the system must include a dedicated performance customer supplied meter to allow for monitoring of the amount of useful heat produced. Otherwise, compliance reporting production will be based on the design energy savings submitted at time of application.
  • Energy savings and designed output for the system will be verified by submitting either a testing certification for a substantially similar system prepared by a publicly funded laboratory or by submitting an engineering report stamped by a registered professional engineer. The engineering report shall provide a description of the system and major components, design criteria and performance expectations, applicable standards and/or codes, and a brief history of components in similar applications.
  • The solar collector, heat exchangers and storage elements shall have an equipment warranty of at least 10 years to qualify for a UFI.
  • The system will in all cases have a material and full labor warranty of at least five years.

Installation Guidance

  • The horizontal tilt angle of the collector panels should be between 20 and 60 degrees and an azimuth angle +/- 45 degrees of south.
  • All systems should be installed such that the energy collection system is substantially unshaded and should have substantially unobstructed exposure to direct sunlight between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • The system installation should comply with the design manual.

Next Steps

  1. Contact a licensed solar installer for an estimate. Please refer to the AZROC website.
  2. Fill out and submit the appropriate application for your system.
  3. UES will review your application to ensure it conforms to program requirements.
  4. UES will respond with reservation confirmation within 30 days upon receipt of request.
  5. Submit copies of city or county inspection permits within 60 days of reservation confirmation date.
  6. Notify UES that installation is complete.
  7. UES will perform an acceptance test to verify system performance.
  8. Customer receives UFI payment within 30 days of acceptance test.
  9. UES is assigned exclusive rights to all RECs associated with project for 20 years.


Non-Residential Solar Water Application

Non-Residential Solar Water Heating Agreement

Supplemental Program Information

PV Angle Chart

Service Requirements

Building Inspection Form

Assignment of Payment

Installation Certification

W9 Form