Proving that you should be careful of what you wish for, the state of New Jersey was awestruck when their latest solar rebate had gotten a little more attention than they perhaps would’ve liked. Neglecting their position as national leaders of solar power usage, they implemented The Renewable Energy Incentive Program, which would reimburse homeowners $1.35 for every watt of electricity they generated with solar power. People love free easy money, and some will go to great lengths to get it, as evidenced by what happened shortly after the program’s announcement.
The program’s funding cycle began on May 3rd, and during that same day, over 1,100 people had submitted their applications, some eager homeowners camping out overnight to do so. The sheer volume of interest far exceeded any previous demand for the incentive, due to a suspension of applications for April.
For the past decade or so, New Jersey has offered some of the most generous incentives for harnessing solar power. It worked, as last year over 1,000 homes were outfitted with solar equipment. The issue of available money has never been a problem until The Renewable Energy Incentive Program, which started only last year and has been picking up steam ever since. It’s getting so popular that demand is draining entire months’ worth of funding long before a funding cycle has even ended.
Just 8 days after the rebate program began accepting submissions, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities signaled an immediate suspension that will last until September 1st. Funding had been completely exhausted, all in a matter of three days.
“That’s why we stopped accepting any additional applications,” explains Board of Public Utilities spokesman Greg Reinert. “Because if all the applications we’ve received to date are approved, it would take up the entire funding for that cycle. We are a victim of our own success.”