The Austin, Texas, city council has approved Austin Energy's solar incentive program, which includes a new approach for commercial, multifamily and nonprofit customers. The new approach saves $2.4 million over the life of the program, according to the utility.
Rather than provide an up-front rebate on the installation of solar systems, Austin Energy will pay for each kilowatt-hour of electricity produced over a 10-year period. This fixed, performance-based incentive (PBI) achieves two goals: First, it provides a fixed payment flow to a system owner by which payback can be calculated, the utility explains. Second, it encourages proper design and maintenance of systems to maximize their production.
Over the next five years, the PBI program is expected to pay, on average, $0.08/kWh of solar energy produced with program funding sufficient for almost 260 solar systems, each up to 20 kW in size. Total PBI payments over the next 14 years under the plan are projected to be $4.8 million.
Austin Energy residential customers can apply to receive rebates at $2.50 per watt, with annual rebates limited to $15,000 and maximum rebates set at $50,000 over the life of installations at a single property.
SOURCE: Austin Energy