DEP announces temporary reactivation of Sunshine Solar Rebate Program
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS This home along Catawissa Road in Schuylkill Township utilizes a solar panel array to help subsidize their electric bill.
The Department of Environmental Protection in Harrisburg announced that it has received $7.25 million in funding from the Commonwealth Financing Authority to complete the agency's Sunshine Solar Program. It added that funding is available for a limited time for previously submitted and future projects. The program had been in a waiting-list phase since August 2011 because the demand exceeded available funds.
"This additional funding will go a long way to help fund solar projects for homeowners and small businesses across Pennsylvania," DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. "The funding is enough to provide rebates for all projects currently on the waiting list and an estimated 400 additional installations this year."
DEP also announced a change in how contractors will apply for solar rebates on behalf of homeowners moving forward and advises that projects associated with previously reserved rebate money must be completed by June 1, 2013. Contractors with projects on the waiting list have received direct notification from DEP outlining this change and are encouraged to participate in a related webinar on Tuesday, Feb. 12, from 2 to 3 p.m.
"The previous process had contractors applying for and reserving rebate money on behalf of homeowners, then having to submit additional information for reimbursement after the project was completed," Krancer said. "We have streamlined the process, allowing contractors to simply apply for a rebate after a project has been completed.
"The remaining funds will be disbursed on a first-come, first-served basis," he said. "Homeowners and small business owners looking to take advantage of this limited funding should not delay in contacting a DEP-approved solar installer."
A list of approved installers is available on DEP's website www.dep.state.pa, keyword Sunshine.
Registration information for the Feb. 12 webinar is also outlined on the Sunshine webpage, and information on rebate availability will be updated weekly.
The Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) was established as an independent agency to administer Pennsylvania's economic stimulus packages. The CFA holds fiduciary responsibility over the funding of programs and investments in Pennsylvania's economic growth.