Posts Tagged Delaware

Delaware Renewable Energy Grants

Posted by on Saturday, 22 May, 2010

The State of Delaware provides funding to citizens to set up generators of renewable energy, partially funded by the ARRA, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which is the federal support for state programs. Delaware organizations offer several types of grants, some for much larger amounts than the appliance rebates and retrofits which are available elsewhere.

Delaware’s Renewable Resource Program provides funding for installing a source of renewable energy in a business, a home, or as a town or city project. The business limits are larger, with the state offering a grant as high as $30,000 for building solar panels or wind turbines. Residential limits are lower, although some of the installations may receive as much as $15,000. Compare this to the $300 appliance rebates and the sales tax exemptions of other states, this is huge.

The Renewable Resource Program is 1/3 matching funds, which means that the homeowner or the business has to pay the other 2/3 of the cost for installing geothermal heat pumps or other machinery. Changing the cost of a homeowner’s solar array from $45,000 to $30,000 shortens the payback period quite a bit and a grant of this size can change a project from a net loss to a net gain. For example, if a company calculates it will lose $20,000 by installing wind turbines, the grant can change that to a $10,000 gain. The catch is that Delaware grants for green energy installations will take about three years before the state pays out the grant money, which requires a sizable investment up front. An accountant will also remember that you have to discount any payment according to the rate of return you could receive in another investment. For example, you invest $30,000 at 10% and make $3,000 interest in one year, $3,300 in two years, and $3,330 in three years, a total of $9,630. Subtracting $9,630 from $30,000 still gives a gain of $20,370, and the gain is higher if you would be receiving less than 10% on your investments.

Delaware also offers rebates, including rebates for efficient light bulbs such as compact fluorescents and LCDs. The State of Delaware offers an extension of the lighting rebate program, to the end of August. State rebate programs may not officially end on their original posting date. If the state still has funds left to provide rebates or grants, they can decide to extend the program, since they are in charge of distribution of the money. Of course, states may also shut down a program early if it becomes too popular and the state gives out all of the rebate money quickly, so quick submission of grant and rebate applications is important.