solar panels delaware

Delaware has the honor of being the nation’s first state. Explored by the Spanish and the Portuguese in the 1600s, it was the Swedish who ultimately colonized the area in 1638. About 150 years later on December 7, 1787 Delaware ratified the country’s new Constitution and became the first state of the brand new Federal Union. In the tradition of being first, Delaware is working hard to establish itself as a leader in the move towards sustainable energy with its aggressive tax incentives for the purchase and installation of solar panels.

Delaware residents and businesses currently use 280 trillion BTU of energy each year. That’s equivalent to 7.4 gallons of oil per person every day. 84% of that energy comes from coal, oil and natural gas. The rest is imported from out of state power plants. With the cost of energy on the rise, Delaware legislative officials have set a goal to help residents trim their energy bills by 20% within five years.

Their plan includes educating Delawareans about the benefits of living in high energy efficient homes as well as ensuring that new homes built in the state exceed the state’s energy code by 15%. For existing buildings, Delaware provides both businesses and homeowners with generous rebates on their taxes for the installation of photovoltaic solar panels or solar thermal systems.

Under the Delaware Energy Office Green Energy Program, residents are eligible for a refund of 50% of the cost of their solar panel system; up to $31,500 for photovoltaic and $3,000 for solar water heater systems. Businesses qualify for up to $250,000 for both solar panels and solar thermal systems. On top of that, Delawareans also qualify for the federal government 30% tax credit for their systems with no cap on savings.

In addition to tax credits, residential homes will enjoy the benefits of a net metering program with the utility company when they install solar panels. When the homeowner’s solar energy system generates more electricity than the house needs for the day, that excess energy can be redirected into the power grid. Customers who set up their systems to feed into the grid will receive a credit on their monthly bill for the full retail price of the electricity they generate.

In order to qualify for the net metering program, the solar panels must meet several requirements. For installations of less than 25 kWh (Kilowatt hours) of solar panels, the systems must meet Electrical and Electronic Engineers standards and be certified that they meet the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) standard. The systems must be connected to the grid and customers need to have an account with Delmarva Power. Off grid systems are not eligible for net metering.

Systems with over 25kWh worth of solar panels installed must adhere to additional restrictions and it is best to consult the Delaware Department of Energy for more information.

Delaware's energy programs put the state on the fast track to being a leader in the sustainable energy department. Residents can help by outfitting their homes with a set of solar panels that will save them money and help the environment.

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