In what must feel to some Florida homeowners like a last-minute reprieve, especially with the holiday season in full swing, the Florida Legislature has voted to approve $31 million in federal funds from ARRA to at least partially repay state residents who took out loans for solar power systems.
Florida’s solar rebate program, like others we could name, made the promise of rebates without expecting enormous response, then found itself overextended. This newly approved funding will fall well short of the original promise made in 2006, which pledged $4 for every watt of solar power generated on systems between 2,000 and 5,000 watts.
The fund also applies to those who installed super-efficient heating and cooling systems. So, with the solar rebate program expired (June 30), and the state still accepting applications for the air conditioning portion through Nov. 30 – the postmark deadline – it seems that at least 4,000 AC upgrades between Aug. 30 and Sept. 14 of 2010 will meet state criteria.
The remaining unpaid 13,000 to 16,000 solar applications will have to be prorated based on whatever is left in the fund from the heating and cooling upgrades. The funding comes solely from the federal government; the Florida Legislature hasn’t voted a single additional dime.
Two thumbs up for Floridians who extended themselves to install clean, renewable solar energy. Four thumbs down for legislators who made a promise they knew they couldn’t keep.
Photo Credit: Linda N via Flickr CC