Benefits of solar hot water

If you are looking for an affordable way to use solar energy in your home, solar hot water can be an excellent investment to reduce costs.

Lower greenhouse gas emissions

Protect the climate by using the sun for up to 80% of your water heating needs

Cost competitive

Lower costs than heating water with oil, propane, or electric resistance

Less expensive solar

Installing solar hot water is a fraction of the cost of installing solar photovoltaic (electricity) systems


Solar hot water systems can be paired with any source of back-up water heating

The Technology

How It Works

Solar energy heats liquid circulated through collectors on your roof or on the ground. Heat from the liquid is transferred to a solar storage tank or boiler through a heat exchanger to provide hot water to your home. When needed, a backup source of heat will provide supplemental hot water.  

Solar hot water is ideal for homes with:

Available roof or ground space | Good sun exposure | Medium to high hot water usage

Featured Customer Story

Tom’s new solar hot water system 

“Financially, I think it’s a winner. Partly because the lifetime warranty of the tank pays for itself and partly because of the free energy.” 

Incentives and Financing

Mass Department
of Energy
Resources (DOER)

Alternative Energy Certificates (AECs): One-time payment provided to homeowners installing solar hot water. A two collector system could receive approximately 100 AECs totaling $400-$1,000.

Municipal Light Plant

If you live in a town served by a Municipal Light Plant (MLP) check your MLP’s website for incentives and rebates.

Federal Tax Credits

Inflation Reduction Act: Federal tax credit up to 30% of system cost.

Financing Options

Mass Save® HEAT Loan: Up to $25,000 at 0% interest over terms of up to 7 years. 

Example Cost for a 2,000 FT2 Home

Cost after incentives is estimated by subtracting AECs worth $1,000, Mass State Tax Credit and Federal Tax Credit from up-front cost.
Cost after incentives may be substantially lower if your household qualifies for income-scaled State and Federal rebates.

Example up-front cost before incentives


Example cost after


Things to Consider

If you answer yes to ANY of these questions, then solar hot water may be a good fit for your home 

Solar hot water provides 80% of your hot water for free, dramatically cutting your home’s hot water heating bill.

Solar hot water requires good sun exposure for at least 5 hours a day for optimal production.

Solar hot water pool heating systems are an environmentally friendly and an economical way to keep pool water heated to a comfortable temperature.

After incentives, solar hot water’s net cost is approximately $6,900, much lower than solar electric (PV) systems. The 0% interest Mass Save® HEAT Loan will enable you to start saving money from day one.

Contact installers to understand how solar hot water could work for you

Questions to ask your installer


View full collection of Resources >>

Heat pump water heaters are another water heating choice that helps the climate

We’re In This Together

Pledge to reduce your home’s carbon footprint by replacing old systems and appliances with clean energy technologies over time.

Join the Clean Energy Transformation

Let's work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our homes and build a clean energy future for Massachusetts.