The popularity of solar rebates, which is causing shortages in some communities, is also the primary reason why rebate programs are being cut back across the nation. Solar rebates have done their job by significantly increasing solar installation projects across the nation.
In Massachusetts alone, as a result of high demand, the number of solar installers has risen from 50 to more than 200, according to the Worcester Business Journal. But this isn’t sunny news for those communities and businesses that now have to put their solar projects on hold due to a lack of funding.
Several power companies including Austin Energy, Xcel Energy, and Long Island Power Authority as well as several states including New York, Massachusetts and California are either cutting back or shutting down their rebate programs, due to their popularity and budgets, reports Triple Pundit.
Some states like New Jersey, which ran out of funds for it solar power grant program in 2005, causing a cut back in rebates and holding up some solar projects, made the decision to create an incentive program based on Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), reports the Triple Pundit.
It works by the state purchasing a certain amount of power from solar power system owners to meet their Renewable Portfolio Standard requirements, according to Triple Pundit.
In several states like Virginia and Massachusetts solar rebates continue to be gobbled up as soon as they become available.
Nearly seven months after the state of Virginia put aside $39 million in stimulus funding for renewable energy projects, funds are now available on a first-come, first-served basis, reports GetSolar.com blog.
In Danville, Virginia, rebates are expected to be gone by the end of the week, reports Danville News.
Kevin Martin, key accounts manager for Danville Utilities, told the local newspaper that the Virginia Energy Efficiency Rebate and Solar/Wind Rebate funding could be depleted as quickly as Nov. 20.
Due to the popularity of solar rebates, some communities and businesses are too late in claiming their piece of stimulus money. Take for example the town of Leicester, Massachusetts, whose rebate program ran out in October. The $68 million in state funding for rebates was supposed to last until 2012, reports the Worcester Business Journal.
As a result, some projects are now put on hold. As an example, the town had planned to lease the roofs of three school buildings to a private contractor to install solar panels, reports the Worcester Business Journal. The rebate would have paid for about 60 percent of the $1 million project’s cost, according to the local newspaper.
Several other businesses in Massachusetts ranging from a construction company to a veterinary hospital are also putting off their projects for financial reasons, reports the local newspaper.