Focus on Energy’s new incentive applications for 2011 will be posted online on December 15, 2010 and will remain active though June 30, 2011. Please be sure to download the new forms from the incentive page before completing an application or helping your customers apply for incentives.
Renewable energy incentive updates
In an effort to streamline incentives, Focus has standardized incentives for small systems installed at business and residential properties. Pre-approval is no longer required for solar and wind systems that
fit Focus on Energy’s definition of small systems, but a registration process is available to allow customers to lock in the incentive for a maximum of six months. Registration is optional but required to guarantee an incentive amount and ensure funding availability. Although homeowners may install solar and wind systems larger than those that are defined as small systems, their incentive is limited to the maximum incentive available for small systems. Renewable energy systems installed by businesses that exceed Focus’ definition of small systems will continue to be funded via a custom incentive or though a competitive incentive process, both of which require pre-approval from Focus in order for the system to qualify for an incentive.
Standardization has also occurred to simplify the incentive structure. The maximum incentive for all renewable energy projects is now 30 percent of the total system cost regardless of the customer’s tax status, and the increase in the solar and wind incentives for nonprofits that install a solar or wind system has been standardized to 25 percent above the incentive a for-profit business can receive.
The renewable energy incentive structure has been adjusted to send a stronger signal to customers about the importance of focusing on energy efficiency and energy conservation prior to the installation of a renewable energy system. The standard incentive for solar and wind systems is now half the amount of the enhanced efficiency invective. In other words, customers can qualify for enhanced incentives by investing in efficiency upgrades and receive double the standard renewable incentive levels.
Three new requirements are included on the 2011 incentive applications that will impact a project’s eligibility for Focus incentives. In short these three new requirements limit customers to one approved project (of a particular renewable energy technology) at any given time, limit sites to one funded system (of a particular renewable energy technology) per year, and limit eligible systems that generate electricity to those that are installed at sites that consume at least as much electricity as all Focus-funded renewable energy systems that the site produces in an average year. Certain systems (e.g. farm biogas digesters) will be exempt from the third requirement.
Finally, site assessment incentives have been discontinued; however, customers are encouraged to complete an assessment, and a site assessment is still required in order for a customer to qualify for a wind system incentive.
Below are some specifics about the incentives for each technology.
Solar electric systems
Small solar electric systems with a DC-rated capacity of 0.5 to six kilowatts in size will no longer require pre-approval in order to qualify for the Focus incentive. Additionally, the basis of the incentive for these
small systems will be the system’s DC-rated capacity versus it’s estimated annual production. Business systems whose DC-rated capacity is six to 20 kilowatts in size will continue to be incentivized through the custom process that requires pre-approval and the incentive will be directly proportional to the estimated annual production of the system. Systems that exceed 20 kilowatts will be funded through a competitive incentive process. Proposals will be accepted at multiple times throughout the year, details will be posted on the incentive page.
The qualified installer requirement for solar electric systems will be removed, and the minimum required installation warranty will be increased from two to five years.
Solar water heating systems
Small solar water heating systems are defined as those designed with eight or fewer panels. Small systems will no longer require pre-approval to qualify for the Focus incentive. Additionally, the basis of the incentive for these small systems will be the number of installed collectors. Solar water heating systems designed with nine to 32 panels will continue to be incentivized through the custom process that requires pre-approval and the incentive will be directly proportional to the estimated amount of energy offset annually. Systems designed with 33 or more panels will be funded through a competitive incentive process. Proposals will be accepted at multiple times throughout the year, details will be posted on the incentive page.
The qualified installer requirement for solar water heating systems will be removed, and the minimum required installation warranty will be increased from two years to five years.
Wind Electric systems
Wind systems with a rated capacity of 20 kilowatts or less will be classified as small systems while systems with a rated capacity of over 20 kilowatts but not more than 100 kilowatts will be classified as large systems. Small wind systems will no longer require pre-approval in order to qualify for the Focus incentive. Additionally, the incentive for these small systems will be based on the make and model of the turbine. Eligible wind systems with a rated capacity that exceeds 20 kilowatts but not more than 100 kilowatts will be funded through a competitive incentive process. Proposals will be accepted at multiple times throughout the year, details will be posted on the incentive page. All wind systems must come with a five-year equipment warranty to qualify for an incentive.
2011 incentive applications will be posted December 15!
As always, thank you for helping provide energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions to your customers and don’t forget to submit your 2010 incentive applications by the end of the year. Please let everyone at your organization know about the 2011 changes and if you have any specific questions about any of our offerings, don’t hesitate to contact me.
I hope you have a great holiday and look forward to working with you in the upcoming year!
- Trade Ally eBlast_2011 incentive changes.pdf
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