While Delaware is neither the biggest nor the sunniest state, Delaware residents continue to expand their state’s solar energy capacity at a rapid rate. The First State has a very straightforward, but effective, set of solar policies that essentially guarantees that you get compensated for any excess generation and gives you an extra bonus for producing clean energy. Simplicity can be a beautiful thing.
What are the best solar programs and rebates in Delaware?
Delaware has several programs and rebates that make it easier for homeowners to save money on their electricity bills with solar:
Delaware net metering
Your solar panels will often produce more electricity than you need, but thanks to Delaware’s net metering policy, you will be able to sell this back to the grid in exchange for credits on your utility bill. The beauty of this program is that you are effectively selling electricity to the utility at the retail rate, instead of the lower wholesale rate that the coal plant down in Dagsboro gets. Why? Because the State of Delaware wants to make sure you enjoy the benefits of producing nice, clean solar energy.
Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs)
This program enables Delaware residents to sell the SRECs that their panels generate. As of early 2016, the going rate for these credits in DE was $25 per megawatt hour (MWh). At this rate, a 5 kilowatt (kW) system that generates 5 MWh per year could make an extra $2,500 over its life from selling credits in the SREC market. Utilities will purchase SRECs to meet Delaware’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal of sourcing 3.5 percent of its electricity needs from solar sources by 2025, and 25 percent from renewables more broadly.
Delaware utility solar rebates and the federal solar tax credit
Utility Solar Rebate Programs
While Delaware doesn’t offer a tax credit or rebate for going solar, many of the electric utilities in the state offer rebates to their customers, including:
- Delmarva Power and Light: Customers of Delmarva Power in Delaware are eligible for a cash rebate from the utility to reduce the cost of their solar installation. The utility will pay $0.55 per watt of solar generating capacity up to 5kW, and $0.20/W beyond 5kW. Rebate values will be reduced as more homeowners install solar, so confirm the current value of the incentive with your utility.
- Delaware Electric Cooperative: Ratepayers receive $0.85/W of solar power installed (up to 5kW), and $0.25/W for any additional solar capacity.
- Delaware Municipal Electrical Corporation (DEMEC): The Municipal Green Energy Program pays customers of qualifying Delaware municipal utilities a cash rebate for a portion of their solar installation costs. The value of the rebate depends on where you live, so review the program websites for specifics.