January 1, 2012
A quick look back...
In July 2008, we were experiencing $4.00+ per gallon gasoline and people were locking in home heating oil for the winter months expecting the prices to continue to rise. Ironically, we saw historic low prices for fuel instead; who would have imagined?
Fortunately, some good news arrived in the summer of 2009...
Under the then democratic leadership of governor Ed Rendell, the PA Sunshine program started offering a rebate that was well thought out to bring down the cost of installing solar for PA residents. The program was a tiered system with four steps. The idea was it didn't matter if you were an early adopter or received a rebate at the end of the program, the rebate amount decreased as the cost of solar (due to the large scale adoption and other market factors realized falling prices).
Sunshine Program applicants qualified for funding at the rebate levels provided below, not to exceed 35 percent of the project costs.
Funding levels were automatically lowered according to the following pre-determined steps.
As of 11/21/2010
Residential PV Rebates
Megawatt (MW) in Step
Rebate Amount ($/Watt)
Small Business PV Rebates
Megawatt in Step
3-10 kW Rebate Amount ($/Watt)
10-100 kW Rebate Amount ($/Watt)
100-200kW Rebate Amount ($/Watt)
(Current step was limited to $4 million in incentives)
Residential and Small Business Solar Thermal Rebates
Number of Systems in Step
The current Republican governor Tom Corbett who in my opinion has been bought by the oil and gas industry (follow the money). Has done little so far to keep the momentum of clean renewable energy and the jobs this industry has created moving forward. Instead he has been giving away tax breaks and fighting for the not so clean natural gas (Marcellus Shale) lobby.
Don't dismay, if you have been thinking of a renewable energy system, I still see a lot of great reasons why there may be no better time than now!
As part of the economic crisis and bail out, the federal tax incentives were extended and expanded to 2016 and then in February, 2009 the caps were removed allowing you to take a full 30% tax credit of the installed cost of your renewable energy project be it solar or wind. While the incentives have been extended until 2016, my recommendation is to act now before future budgets and trillion dollar spending forces legislation to expire them sooner.
The rising cost of electricity. Just follow this link to this USA Today article and tell me if you think the wait and see approach is the best strategy towards saving money on your utility bill? As the cost of electricity increases, your payback shortens.
Possible Reason #3
HB # 1580 - if HB 1580 is passed, another lucrative incentive will once again be at play. HB 1580 was introduced by Rep Chris Ross to fix the solar market in PA. It is currently tied up in committee. To learn more about HB 1580 follow this link to learn more. What is an SREC you might ask?
PA SREC (AEC's) Program
The PA AEC program is designed to provide an additional revenue source to home and business solar installations to spur the development of solar energy in PA. The state created an Altervative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS) that states that an annually increasing percentage of electricity sold to customers be from solar energy sources.
An AEC is created each time a solar system generates 1000 kWh of electricity. The AEC program for the state is run by Clean Power Markets, Inc. They have a very informative site, www.paaeps.com. GATS, is the company that manages the AEC's. That is where the AEC's are created and transferred. That site is www.gats.pjm-eis.com.
AEC's in PA have a 3 year life. For example, an AEC created in 2009 can be used to satisfy compliance in 2010 and 2011. An AEC year runs from June 1st – May 31st (i.e. the 2010 AEC year runs from June 1, 2009 – May 31, 2010).
AEC prices are determined by the market and a state established penalty rate. The penalty rate is the rate a utility pays if they have not purchased enough SREC’s, as defined by their state mandated requirement. The penalty rate calculation is 200% of the average market value of the credits during the reporting period. In reality, prices will be determined by supply and demand.
Affordable solar leasing. The leasing company takes all the risk, in exchange for the 30% tax credit (Reason #1 above) as well as the SREC revenue for the next twenty years - provided HB 1580 gets passed. The lease company guarantees the performance of the system by remotely monitoring the system production. For them to get a return on their investment they need your system to be generating as designed. You can choose a low monthly payment or decide to completely prepay your lease to obtain the maximum savings. To learn more about our affordable lease program, please follow this link.
Your investment also helps the fight against cancer. Our family business is personally affected by cancer and wants to help do our part to help those that are currently battling this disease as well as help fund research for a cure. Our program is called Watts for a cure. Learn more by following this link.
What this means to you...
If you are interested in a system to reduce your utility bill there is no better time to act than now. Contact us today for a free site assessment and estimate for your project while the economics still make sense.
Control Alt Energy, LLC