Will streamlined solar applications be a hindrance for projects?
When I first noticed that a temporarily reactivated state Sunshine Solar Program would have limited funds for new project installations and no built-in way to reserve money, I thought that might be a problem.
It used to be that installers would submit before a project and then again after to access funding for the work.
Now, the application only comes after the project, and the amount of available money is limited.
Will that be a tripping point for installers to get customers to commit to projects? Will they sign up for an installation thinking a rebate is available, then find out the pot's run dry?
At least one installer thinks it will be an incentive to get projects going more quickly.
And if installers are a little proactive, it should be a more than manageable issue, said Matthew Beiler, partner with Lancaster County-based Paradise Energy Solutions.
Beiler said an issue he saw with the previous process was that someone who was thinking about doing a project could go through the initial application process and tie up money.
In the end, maybe that somebody didn't end up doing a project for whatever reason, he said.
Under the new process, that wouldn't be an issue, Beiler said.
The state will regularly post the remaining funds available from a recent infusion from the Commonwealth Financing Authority to temporarily reactivate the program, said Lynda Rebarchak, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Protection.
The $7.25 million in fresh funding covers a combination of previously submitted and new projects, according to DEP.
The ability to keep an eye on the level of available funding should make the after-only issue manageable, Beiler said.
"We'll soon be able to get a feel for how fast the money is leaving," he said.