Community Rallies for Improvements to DC Solar Rebate Program

By Emily Steiver on March 28, 2013

A young man and an older woman protest in support of solar in DC. Their signs say, "Save DC Solar Power from the People."At the DC Council Roundtable meeting on the Renewable Energy Incentive Program, there were more than 50 attendees – from homeowners, to installers, to solar REC aggregators.  Many members of the Mt Pleasant and Capitol Hill Cooperatives presented information about their frustrations with DDOE’s handling of the program – lost paperwork, failure to get rebate checks on time, and confusing paperwork.  While I was not able to stay for the portion of the meeting where Mary Cheh, Jim Graham and Tommy Wells heard DDOE’s side of the story, I’m told that their were three main take away messages. 1) Mary Cheh ensured that she would make sure the “unspent” 2009 funds that should have been allocated to the 2009 waiting list will be restored to the program.  This is important because there may be up to $4 million in requested funds from 2010 applicants, so the extra $1 million to $1.5 million in leftover 2009 money can help ensure that new 2010 applicants can be paid this year. 2) DDOE apparently has promised to get 2 new full time hires on board by the end of April to actually administer the program.  3) That DDOE will provide Mary Cheh with a detailed progress report within 2 weeks, and will be providing monthly updates to the Council — which we hope will also be made public.  Were you at the hearing?  Please comment with other perspectives.   Testimony provided for the hearing is posted here