Office of General Services

New York State Office of General Services

Approved EO4 Specifications

Solar Thermal Systems

Covered Products

Solar systems that convert solar energy into heat using a fluid (liquid or air) transfer medium.


Solar thermal panels use the sun’s light to heat domestic water or to provide space heating (or cooling using absorption chillers) and reduce the purchase of fossil fuels or electricity for this purpose.


Active solar systems directly convert solar energy into electricity or require electricity to transfer energy (electric or thermal) from one location to another.

Passive solar systems use specific site locations, design or building materials that take advantage of the sun's position and availability to provide direct heating or lighting, or to store heating in thermal mass. Gravity and natural changes in fluid density provide motive force.

Active solar thermal systems directly convert solar energy into heat and require external electrical energy to transfer the heat from one location to another.

Passive solar thermal systems use specific site locations, design or building materials that take advantage of the sun's position and availability to provide direct heating or to store heat in thermal mass. A Thermal Siphon System, which has a water tank above a collector, is one type of passive solar thermal system.

Solar thermal collectors are devices used to capture the energy from the sun and transfer it to a working fluid (usually glycol, water or air). Pool heating (unglazed), flat plate and evacuated tube collectors are types of solar thermal collector as are once-through ambient air systems, such as building integrated transpired metal panels. Solar concentrators focus the sun’s energy onto small collectors.

Solar thermal hydronic systems usually consist of the solar thermal collectors, a heat exchanger tank, circulating pumps with controls and interconnecting piping. Some systems may include heat storage tanks or waste heat radiators.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies intended to improve performance in metrics such as energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

Standard Setting and Certifying Programs

American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) is an international organization committed to its mission of advancing heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) to serve humanity and promote a sustainable world through research, standards writing, publishing and continuing education. It is committed to the advancement of HVAC&R for the benefit of society. For additional information on ASHRAE, visit the organization website at

Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) is a non-profit organization whose primary purpose is the development and implementation of certification programs and national rating standards for solar energy equipment. The corporation is an independent third-party certification entity. It is unique in that it is the only national certification program established solely for solar energy products. It is also the only national certification organization whose programs are the direct result of combined efforts of state organizations involved in the administration of standards and an industry association. For additional information on SRCC, visit the organization website at

International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) is a membership-based association providing code development assistance, industry-leading education, and a manufacturer-preferred quality assurance program. It utilizes an open consensus process in the development of the Uniform Plumbing Code® and Uniform Mechanical Code® and the Uniform Solar Energy Code®. These codes are established through scientific research, debate, and analysis. Each component of the IAPMO Group works toward the ultimate goal of protecting the health of people everywhere. For additional information on IAPMO, visit the organization website at

The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is the organization that provides certification for photovoltaic and solar thermal installation. Designed to raise industry standards and promote consumer confidence, NABCEP offers certification and certificate programs to renewable energy professionals throughout North America. For additional information, visit the NABCEP website at:

United Association (UA) of Plumbers, Fitters, Welders and HVAC Technicians is an international multi-craft organization whose members are engaged in the fabrication, installation and servicing of piping systems. UA offers premier training programs, including a five-year apprenticeship program that includes Solar Thermal training, organized instructor training certification programs and Solar Thermal continuing education courses. For additional information, visit UA's website at:

Underwriters Laboratory (UL) is an independent, not-for-profit product safety testing and certification organization. UL works closely with industries, authorities and customers to keep safety ahead of innovation in an evolving global landscape. UL has a process of product evaluation that includes periodic inspection of production during manufacturing. Products that are listed as being in compliance with UL standards will be bear the UL label, an identifying mark which can be used to determine that a product is acceptable. For additional information, visit UL's website at:


Ambient Air Collectors

Affected entities shall provide ambient air collectors meeting the following specifications: performance shall be certified by an SRCC accredited testing laboratory, in addition to meeting all federal and state laws, local codes, rules and regulations.

Glazed Flat Plate Collectors and Evacuated Tube Type Collectors

Affected entities shall provide glazed flat plate collector and evacuated tube type collector [bracketed items for Evacuated Tube type collectors] systems meeting the following specifications, in addition to meeting all federal and state laws, local codes, rules and regulations:

Affected entities are encouraged to:

Lead: In addition to other codes prohibiting lead in solder and flux, for collectors that directly circulate potable water, prohibit the use of more than 0.25 percent lead in wetted surfaces of pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings and fixtures , as determined by a weighted average per the California Health & Safety Code, § 116875.


Packaging shall comply with Environmental Conservation Law section 37-0205. Packaging shall not contain inks, dyes, pigments, adhesives, stabilizers, or any other additives to which any lead, cadmium, mercury or hexavalent chromium is intentionally added or contain incidental concentrations of lead, cadmium, mercury or hexavalent chromium which together are greater than 100 parts per million by weight (0.01%).

New York State encourages affected entities to adopt the following: