The New Jersey solar rebate program has stopped taking applications as of Tuesday due to the overwhelming number that have been lodged over the past weeks. The Board of Public Utilities spokesman (BPU) Greg Reinert says applications were suspended in April when the program reached its monthly limit.
On May 3rd, when the next funding cycle began, there were over 1,100 applications lodged that day alone, with many people camping out overnight to ensure their application was received. Since then, an additional 125 applications have been submitted. Reinert says the state will start taking applications for the next funding cycle, on September 1st.
New Jersey has been pushing solar energy adoption for the past decade and only trails California in this regard. In 2009, 1,030 homes were equipped with solar power systems through the rebate program.
The rebates offered are $1.35/watt, saving residents about $10,000 on a 7.5 kilowatt system, which is roughly one quarter of the total installed cost. With such lucrative incentives on offer, the state decided to divide the program into three pools to ensure the funding didn’t dry up at the start of the year. Last month was the first time that the funding exceeded the monthly limit, which is what drove the mass submissions on May 3rd when the new funding period started.
For those of you who submitted applications and we wondering if you made the cut, don’t worry, BPU spokesman Greg Reinert has reassured people that all the eligible projects that were submitted will still get the rebates, even if the amount surpasses the $6 million set aside for them. Money could be transferred from another fund, he said.
If you don’t want to wait until September (or next year by the time your system is installed) to start saving or even making money on a home solar power system you should know that there are still other incentives like Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) that can make solar more affordable than you think.