NOTE: The municipal electric utilities serving New Castle, Clayton, Dover, Lewes, Middletown, Milford, Smyrna, and Seaford do not offer any rebates for individual renewable energy systems. Incentives are only available for residents of Newark. Please see the program web site for further information on the use of green energy funds in these jurisdictions.
Delaware's municipal utilities provide incentives for solar photovoltaic (PV), solar thermal, wind, geothermal, and fuel cell systems installed by their electric customers. Eligibility is limited to systems that are intended to supply on-site energy needs. Incentives are available to both residential and non-residential member-owners. Both grid-connected and off-grid PV and wind energy systems are eligible for incentives, but systems must serve loads that would otherwise be served by the electric utility. Solar thermal systems used for domestic water heating or in radiant heating applications must reduce or eliminate the need for electric or gas heated water.
Incentives available in City of Newark are as follows:
- Solar Water Heating (Residential only): $1.00 per kWh saved, up to $3,000 for water heating, $5,000 for space heating
- Solar PV: Residential and Non-Residential: $1.00/W for first 5 kW, $0.50/W after 5 kW. Non-profit: $1.25/W, up to $3,500
- Small Wind: 33.33% of installed costs, up to $7,500 for residential systems, $15,000 for non-residential systems, and $10,000 for non-profit systems
- Geothermal Heat Pumps (Residential only): $800 per ton for first two tons, $700 per ton for remaining tons., up to $4,400.
Systems are subject to a variety of equipment, installation and warranty requirements, including limitations on system orientation and shading for solar energy systems. The Delaware Energy Office processes applications and conducts technical reviews for this program. The program rules do not specify the ownership of renewable energy credits (RECs) associated with system energy production; however, net metering customers in Delaware retain ownership of RECs unless they voluntarily relinquish such ownership. More information about the program is available in the program manual.
Under the 2005 Delaware renewable portfolio standard (RPS) legislation, municipal utilities were allowed to opt out of the RPS schedule if they met certain other requirements. One such requirement was that they contribute to the existing Green Energy Fund for investor-owned utilities or create their own green energy fund supported by an equal surcharge (i.e. $0.000178/kWh). All of Delaware's municipal utilities opted out of the RPS requirements and established their own green energy funds.
In 2010 the Delaware RPS was amended by SS 1 for S.B. 119 and the section (26 Del. C. § 363) detailing the obligations of electric cooperatives was slightly revised. While these amendments change several other opt-out requirements, the provision mandating green energy fund contributions in the event of an opt-out remains unchanged.