Delaware’s Green Energy Program, which offers grants to reduce the installed cost of renewable energy technologies, has proved enormously successful in generating a great demand for clean technologies. The program, administered by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Delaware Energy Office, has become so successful that it has unintentionally created a 2 to 3-year wait for the rebates.
To address the backlog as well as open the program to more participants with a quicker turnaround for rebates, the Energy Office is offering a new program option to individuals already in the program who are awaiting installation of renewable energy systems and changing the structure for new applicants effective May1.
“The overwhelming demand for renewable energy systems shows Delawareans’ strong interest in receiving clean power,” said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara. “By modernizing our program and offering this new option, we will both ensure more Delwareans have affordable access to clean power and receive the rebates more quickly.”
Applicants for solar photovoltaic, small wind turbine or solar water heating system rebate projects in the Green Energy Program awaiting installation and have received fully executed “Confirmation and Claim” forms may choose to receive funds as they become available or choose to opt into a new program that may be partially funded by stimulus program resources.
The new option offers a total subsidy of 55 percent of solar or wind system cost from a combination of 30 percent Federal Investment Tax Credit and a Green Energy Fund rebate of 25 percent of the system cost. Aplplication for the Federal Investment Tax Credit is the person responsibility of the current applicant.
Estimated time period for funding to current eligible applicants who choose the new option is approximately six months of project completion. Current applicants who are non-profit or public agencies and not eligible for the Federal Investment Tax Credit, are eligible for a Green Energy Program rebate of 35 percent of the system cost. This 35 percent rebate is not available for projects in which a third party ownership model is adopted by the non-profit or public energy.
All applicants to the Green Energy Fund after May1 will be eligible for subsidies of 55 percent of the total solar photovoltaic system, small wind turbine or solar water heating system costs. The 55 percent represents a combination of the Federal Investment or Production Tax Credit and State resources. (Current geothermal heat pump rebate levels will not be affected.)
Last year, the federal government extended and enhanced the Investment Tax Credit for installation of renewable energy systems by removing the $2,000 cap on residential installations and making the credit refundable. Many states responded immediately by lowering the direct grant percentages to allow greater participation for the same level of total subsidy while Delaware continued to allow applications for 50 percent grants.
The Green Energy Program receives about $2 milion a year. Funding for the currently approved, yet uninstalled, projects will require 3,5 years for residential and 2 years for non-residential installations to obtain adequate funding for payment.
Additional information on the Green Energy Fund will be posted on the Energy Office websiteat: @link href=’http://www.energy.dnrec.delaware.gov’target=”_blank”>www.energy.dnrec.delaware.gov