First bit of news come from the Sunshine State. Florida Power and Light (FPL), Florida's largest utility servicing 6.8 million customers, recently announced a reboot on their Solar Rebate program. Offering a very generous rebate of up to $20,000 for residential customers and $50,000 for commercial customers, it was expected to have a high demand once rebate registrations were opened up January 14. Solar Power World tells us what happened next:
After about a month of preparation, the highly anticipated solar rebate offered by Florida Power and Light (FPL) was opened for application yesterday morning (January 14, 2015). After a “sneak” opening of a minute or so around the 8:23 AM mark, the rebate portal was officially live at 8:30 AM. Residential solar rebate funds were all claimed or allocated within the first 30 seconds. Business solar rebates followed suit and were completely claimed in the next 3 minutes.
This news should not come as no surprise to customers who have been keeping track of solar rebate news. For those in the Golden State, the California Solar Initiative (CSI) Program's solar rebates have all been exhausted for PG&E and SCE customers, and all . [You can see the most current CSI Tracker here]. Of course, this was a program that first started shortly before I graduated college and before I got into the solar industry. In its infancy, the CSI program offered as high as $2.50 / W rebates, meaning customers with a 5 kW system received $12,500 back in rebates!!! Of course, solar prices were a lot higher back in the day, and the CSI program has accomplished its original intent, which was to help drive down solar prices.
So is now the best time for solar? Absolutely! Solar prices have been declining steadily the last 2-3 years, and has most likely bottomed out. And with utility prices expected to keep climbing [PG&E implemented a 5.9% increase already in effect Jan 2015].
While solar rebates are (for the most part) a thing of the past, there are still the 30% federal tax credit (expiring in 2016!), historically low solar prices, a myriad of solar options (solar ppa's, solar financing, and solar lease), and endless utility rate increases, why not go Solar in 2015?
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Tell me how much your utility has increased your rates. How much are you currently paying for electricity? And feel free to see my section on How to Choose Solar. And like always, feel free to leave me an email email@example.com.