Solar is booming in Rhode Island, and the increased demand is resulting in some changes to the state’s two generous solar programs. (Please read my article describing the two solar programs if you aren’t familiar with them.)
The most important thing to know is that the state continues to fund solar programs in an effort to help people install their own clean energy systems. There is a bit of bad news, but be sure to read the good news that follows.
The REG (Renewable Energy Growth) program has been so successful in helping homeowners go solar that it is fully subscribed. The current round was supposed to run through March 30, 2018. Instead, National Grid has essentially “paused” the program until the next round begins on April 1, 2018.
(Some money from the commercial side of the program might become available for residential solar, but we won’t know about that for some weeks.)
Note: You are not affected if you are already enrolled in the REG program. You will continue to get your regular payments.
Now the good news. The state has put a new chunk of money into the other big solar program, the Renewable Energy Fund. This program pays grants (also called rebates) of up to $8,000 to homeowners installing solar on their properties (for systems up to 10 kilowatts in size). The grants are awarded in “blocks” and the current block was scheduled to end this Friday. (It actually ended a little ahead of schedule because it was fully used.)
The state, in an effort to spread out available funds, had intended to wait until February 15 before opening up the next block of grants. But, when the REG money ran out, the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and the Office of Energy Resources announced the addition of a new block, which starts December 1, 2017.
This means you’ll still get a huge solar benefit from the state if you install solar in the next few months. One caution: This “stopgap” block of grants only has $400,000 in it, and that will probably go fast. Those people ready to have their applications submitted on December 1 (by the installers, like New England Clean Energy) are most likely to receive the grants.
Click here if you’d like us to contact you about going solar.
If you liked this article, you might also enjoy:
- Comparing Rhode Island Solar Incentives
- New Solar Incentive Prices in Rhode Island
- Can You Use the 30% Federal Tax Credit for Solar?