Delaware is a geographically small state with a relatively small population. But it’s making big progress in the solar industry. The state boasts progressive energy policies that encourage an ever-larger number of new rooftop solar installations as well as utility-scale solar projects.
Delaware ranked 22 nationally for total installed solar energy capacity in 2013, according to data from the Solar Energy Industries Association.
The state is home to 42 solar companies employing 510 people and has more than 59 megawatts of installed solar energy capacity.
The Solar Foundation gives Delaware an A grade for its net metering policy an notes that it’s one of few states allowing third-party companies to own rooftop systems and sell the power back to the property owners, enabling more people to install solar without upfront investment.
Delaware also has an aggressive renewable energy portfolio standard, requiring utilities to source 25 percent of their energy from renewable resources by compliance year 2025-2026.
To meet those requirements the state’s utility companies offer incentives to homeowners and small businesses, including farms, to go solar. The state also offers low-interest rate loans to support solar and other renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency improvements for residents in the state.
(Updated December, 2014)
Home energy efficiency upgrades
Varies per utility
|Required Documentation||Energy audit, completed application and use of an approved vendor|
|Official Web Site|
Delaware’s Green Energy Program used to host a rebate program through the state’s utilities for solar installations, but that has halted. The state, however, still rewards home and business owners for saving energy. Following an ENERGY STAR audit, your contractor can submit a rebate reservation that will allow you to collect the following amounts for energy efficiency upgrades to your home.
|Technologies||Passive Solar, Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Wind, Hydroelectric, and Fuel Cells|
|Amount||Up to 25 percent of equipment costs|
|Required Documentation||Completed application, relevant permits. Proof of local code compliance|
|Official Web Site||N/A|
This program is no longer available.
|Program Type||Net Metering|
|Technologies||Photovoltaic, Wind, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Small-scale Hydroelectric, and Fuel Cells using renewable fuels|
|Amount||Retail power rate, up to 110 percent of expected use|
|Required Documentation||Completed application and inspection from the local Utility|
|Official Web Site||http://www.state.de.us/delpsc/default.shtml|
Delaware’s net metering program credits home and business owners for the excess power they generate using solar, wind or hydro systems at the retail power rate. Those who generate their own power can roll credits over from one year to the next or request a pay-put at the end of the year if they are owed more than $25. However, the payouts for excess credits are paid at the wholesale rate.
Those participating in a community solar garden with multiple subscribers are only credited at the retail rate for excess power they generate if the garden facility is on the same distribution feeder as their home or business. If a subscriber gets his or her power from a different distribution feeder, he or she is credit at the wholesale electric rate instead.
|Program Type||Performance-based incentive|
Dependent on system size and winning bid price
Accepted Completed Solar System Interconnection Application
|Official Web Site|
Delaware’s traded a rebate-style incentive programs for this performance-based incentive for solar. Delaware’s Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) program was designed to create an SREC market within Delaware, upon which solar owners (home and business) could sell credits for the solar energy they produce.
The credits help utilities reach their renewable energy portfolio standard requirements.
The tiered program makes installing solar particularly economically advantageous for Delaware home and business owners. Prices for the credits are determined in competitive bidding and are guaranteed for 20-year terms.
In 2014, the tiers are as follows:
Number of SRECs per year
Estimated Contract award scenarios
~(630) @ 5kW
~(23) @ 50kW
~(2) @ 500kW
~(630) @ 5kW
~(323) @ 100kW
State Loan Program
State Rebate Program
Utility Rebate Program
Rules, Regulations & Policies
Building Energy Code
Energy Efficiency Resource Standard
Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Public Benefits Fund
Renewables Portfolio Standard
Solar/Wind Access Policy
Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
Related Programs & Initiatives
Alternative Fuels Data Center
The U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) provides information, data and tools to help fleets and other transportation decision-makers find ways to reduce petroleum consumption through the use of alternative and renewable fuels, advanced vehicles, and other fuel-saving measures.
Green Power Network
The U.S. Department of Energy's Green Power Network provides news and information on green power markets and activities, including opportunities to buy green power. This site provides state-by-state information on green power marketing and utility green power programs. In addition, the site lists marketers of renewable energy credits (RECs), also known as green tags or renewable energy certificates, which represent the environmental attributes of the power produced from renewable energy projects.
Weatherization Assistance Program
The U.S. Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) enables low-income families to reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy-efficient. Through this program, weatherization service providers install energy-efficiency measures in the homes of qualifying homeowners free of charge. The WAP program web site offers a state-by-state map of opportunities, projects and activities.
Wind Powering America
The U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Powering America site provides state-by-state information on wind projects and activities, including wind working groups, validated wind maps, anemometer loan programs, small wind guides, state-specific news, wind for schools, workshops and web casts