New Hampshire solar rebate program hits a granite wall

The New Hampshire Public Utility Commission runs a popular Residential Solar & Wind Power Rebate Program and a Commercial and Industrial Solar Rebate Program. So popular that, combined with a favorable (for now) net metering program and existing federal tax credits, the program has been swamped with applications.

On July 14, the Commission issued a letter announcing the immediate closing of the rebate programs, and returning of any applications received after July 13. A wait list of $500,000 worth of rebates for the residential program and $1,000,000 of the C&I program has been reported, placing hundreds of applications in limbo until at least September 1. A 2018 program year budget of some $3.6 million would have to be made and approved by the Commission in the meantime.

The residential rebate program provides a rebate of $0.50/watt or 30% of the cost (whichever is lower), for a total of up to $2,500 for a 10 kW installation. The non-residential rebate program is in two levels; $0.65/watt for up to 100 kW-AC, or $0.55/watt from 100-500 kW.

New Hampshire, like many state markets, has experienced a boom in the solar market when coupled with supportive policies. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), 30 MW of the state’s 57 MW of installed solar came online in 2016. These 9,000 installations comprise over an 2% penetration of the state’s single family home market, while solar power still supplies less than 1% of the state’s electricity.