solar installationsAs of Jan. 24, 2013, the PA Sunshine Solar Rebate Program is in active rebate mode with help from $7.25 million in funding from the Commonwealth Financing Authority. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), a portion of the funds will first satisfy previously submitted rebate applications for solar electric (solar photovoltaic), solar hot water (solar thermal) projects and battery back-up systems. Remaining funds will then be disbursed to new projects on a first-come, first-served basis.

Existing projects that have been on the waiting list must be completed by June 1, 2013 to receive a rebate. Those installing a solar system can apply for rebates ranging from $7,500 for residential systems (maximum 10 KW) to $52,500 for small business commercial systems (maximum 100 KW).

“The Pennsylvania Sunshine rebate depends on the size of the system but usually this rebate will cover about 15 percent of the total installation cost,”  Tony Taglione, Project Manager of Terrasol Energies in Chadds Ford said. “When you combine this with the 30% federal tax credit it makes now a great time to install solar panels.”

The DEP has also improved the efficiency of the application process, making it a one-step system. The rebate program will close when funds run out, or by Dec. 31, 2013, whichever happens first.

The Pennsylvania DEP established a Photovoltaic and Solar Contract Installer Database, a list of over 750 installers approved as participating in the program.

Residents interested in switching to clean energy should act fast, as the DEP expects funds to be exhausted before the end of the year.

For more information on the application process, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.