Policy Guide

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Incentives and measures to promote Solar Water Heating in Barbados

Starting as early as 1974, Barbados has managed to develop a solar water heating industry and the use of solar water heaters in about 40 percent of all its households today. This is around 70 percent of the households that have water heating at all. A combination of fiscal incentives enabled this success: (1) import tariffs were eliminated on the raw materials used to manufacture solar water heaters; (2) a consumption tax of up to 60 % was imposed on all electrical and gas water heaters; (3) homeowner tax incentives for solar water heaters of up to BBD 3500 (approx. €1400).
The simple payback period for homeowners and hotels is less than two years when replacing electric water heating. Cumulative energy cost savings to building owners had already exceeded tax incentives by a factor of 12 in 2003. Oil cost savings to the national economy were already higher than the cost of the solar water heaters by then, with further savings to be expected over the useful life of the water heaters.


  • Hafiz, Ahmad (Lead author)
  • Thomas, Stefan (Author)
  • Venjakob, Maike (Reviewer)

References and further reading

  • EuroObserver’Er (2013): Solar Thermal Energy in Cyprus. www.bigee.net/s/s2xppr
  • Government of Barbados (2001): Barbados’ First National Communications to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). www.bigee.net/s/421qtj
  • Global Environment Facility (GEF)/United Nations Development Program (UNDP)/United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) (2012): Solar Thermal in the Mediterranean Region: Market Assessment Report. www.bigee.net/s/gws156 
  • Moore, W., Alleyne F., Alleyne Y., et al., (2012): Barbados Green Economy Scoping Study – Synthesis Report. Government of Barbados, University of West Indies - Cave Hill Campus, United Nations Environment Programme. www.bigee.net/s/edm17z 
  • Perlack, Bob; Hinds, William (2003): Evaluation of Renewable Energy Incentives: The Barbados Solar Water Heating Experience. www.bigee.net/s/jv161w 
  • Schwerin, Anja (2010): Analysis of the Potential Solar Energy Market in the Caribbean. July 2010. www.bigee.net/s/5nbwyf 
  • Trabacchi, C., Micale, V., & Frisari, G., (2012): San Giorgio Group Case Study: Prosol Tunisia. Climate Policy Institute. www.bigee.net/s/fxu7k1 
  • United Nations/Economic Commission for Latin America (UN/ECLA) (n.d.): Solar Technology and Sustainable Development: Building on the Solar Dynamics Experience. www.bigee.net/s/4fqxgt
  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (2012): Success Stories: Solar Energy in Barbados. www.bigee.net/s/qa9jx4


  • Location:
    Caribbean Barbados

  • Type of policy:
    Financial Incentives for ULEB and deep retrofits

  • Implementation period:
    1974 to present

  • Year of latest revision:

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