A “best-kept secret,” Maryland’s Clean Energy Grant helps homeowners get solar PV systems as well as other clean-energy retrofits. But when solar leasing becomes popular in the state, new limits are imposed on the grant.
Maryland residents can benefit from an innovative program administered by the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), the Residential Clean Energy Grant Program. This seems like a “best-kept secret,” as many homeowners are unaware that the grant even exists. But this grant is giving homeowners the opportunity to retrofit their homes with solar energy systems.
Under the original grant, MEA would allow homeowners to renovate their home with clean energy by providing them the finances to install solar water heating systems, wind turbine systems, solar photovoltaic systems, and geothermal heat pumps. Since the initial start of the grant program four years ago, the grant has changed.
The Residential Clean Energy Grant Program now has some limits. On November 14, 2013, the MEA discontinued the grant for leased solar PV systems in the residential markets. PV solar leasing has become successful in the state of Maryland particularly in the last year as applications for the grant program increased.
Solar PV leasing has transformed the way homeowners in Maryland view the process of installing solar energy systems by eliminating the high direct cost of installation. The success of leasing has reduced the grant’s impact on the market, so the MEA has decided to allocate funds to other markets and programs to better assist residents.
The MEA has introduced the grant to fulfill the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). According to the Maryland Renewable Portfolio Standard, “20 percent of Maryland’s electricity must be generated from renewable energy sources by 2022, including 2 percent from solar energy.”
In order to encourage more commercial and residential solar installations, the RPS calls for increasing “the percentage requirements of the RPS that must be purchased from Tier 1 solar energy sources each year between 2011 and 2017.”
Increasing renewables is one of the main objectives for the state of Maryland. The MEA is anticipating that the Residential Clean Energy Grant Program will help move the state closer to this goal.
For more information about the MEA initiatives, grants, and goals for Maryland, visit this site.