Delaware, the first state, has been working to reduce its energy use, in addition to offering incentives for renewable energy. The state really started boosting its efforts in 2009 under Governor Jack Markell (D). Markell assembled a council of citizens to develop plans for reducing the state’s energy consumption. Since then the state has enacted a renewable portfolio standard requiring the state’s utilities to source 25 percent of their energy from renewable resources by compliance year 2025-2026, it also requires at least 3.5 percent of the energy to come from solar. As of October 2012, the state’s Green Energy Fund was under review to make sure it meets the needs of the state’s RPS.
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. Like other states in the U.S., Delaware has a renewable energy credit market under allowing renewable energy generators to sell the credits to a third-party like a utility to help them meet their RPS requirements.
Incentives in the state have been popular in the past and are often exhausted quickly, so it’s a good idea to check with the state and local utilities to find out what the most current rebate levels. Residents and businesses can learn more about local options through qualified installers and Energize Delaware, a service from Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU), a non-profit organization created by Delaware in 2007, that has information about sustainable energy options and incentives to make it easier for folks to go solar, renewable and energy efficient in Delaware.
As of Oct. 2012, most of Delaware’s incentive programs were fully subscribed, meaning they’re not accepting applications. However, the state and utilities could open up future rounds of funding in 2013.
(Updated Oct. 2012)