The District of Columbia is actively working to become more energy efficient. As part of the Green Budget initiative, the city is examining solar renewable energy usage. The goals of this process are to reduce energy consumption and increase the efficiency of green building in the District. In addition, the city is developing a regional solar renewable energy usage policy with the assistance of the federal government. This article offers some solar energy tips to District residents.
rooftops solar renewable energy credits are currently the most popular way for solar power plants to earn revenue. Rooftop solar renewable energy credits (RECs) are paid to solar power plants when they generate electricity using solar renewable resources. These are generally sold to electric companies at retail prices. To earn additional revenues, D.C. residents may also pay for solar power at the meter.
The District of Columbia developed a solar carve-out in its energy efficiency act. The District has an renewable portfolio standard which limits the amount of electricity a solar project can produce and/or sell. The standard also caps the total amount of energy that any solar project can consume. This encourages new solar projects. As D.C. begins to enforce its renewable portfolio standard, businesses and homeowners are encouraged to explore their options for producing electricity using solar energy.
Solar renewable electricity credits can be sold separately from the D.C. rate. Photovoltaic solar equipment is sold separately and is typically sold in combination packages. Commonly sold together with photovoltaic cells (PV), these include solar cells and controllers; solar modules; batteries; bus heads; and solar pumps. A typical package will contain parts such as solar panels, controllers, batteries, and pumps. A D.C. rate often requires the purchase of separate parts for each individual solar project, although companies may purchase all of these components in one package at times.
A D.C. residential provider can participate in D.C. rate plans. There are some providers who sell D.C. rate renewable energy credits directly to consumers. In order to take advantage of these credits, suppliers must join the D.C. Energy Approval Partnership (DETP). When a provider becomes a member of the Partnership, it can market its solar energy equipment and services to consumers and suppliers within the Partnership. A D.C. non-residential electric provider can also participate in the Partnership.
D.C. residents who generate electricity at home and use solar energy can receive rebates from D.C. electricity suppliers when they make the effort to buy solar renewable portfolio standards or receive D.C. rate reductions. Participating in a solar project can also increase a person’s chances of qualifying for a discount on electricity. Many homeowners who install solar panels receive financial rebates from their utilities for the excess electricity generated by their solar energy system. In the long run, a homeowner’s solar energy system can save them money and reduce their household electrical bills.
D.C. electricity suppliers are not required to buy any solar energy from D.C. non-residents. However, many utilities offer solar energy discounts if D.C. residents purchase certain “pro” products from their electric suppliers. Some of the pro-solar energy products offered by D.C. electric suppliers include energy efficient window shades and roofs, low-flow toilet fixtures, energy efficient appliances, and solar water heaters. If a person wants to take advantage of these rebates and save on their monthly utility costs, they should contact their electric supplier or contact D.C.’s solar energy rebate department.
To find out whether or not a home qualifies for one of the solar renewable energy certificates, one should contact their local electricity provider. A D.C. electricity provider will be able to tell a home whether it is eligible for a solar incentives tax credit. In some cases, D.C. residents may qualify for state-administered solar rebates. The Department of Energy has information on several solar incentive programs.