Tom Content’s article for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel examines the repercussions of the Public Service Commission’s decision to suspend Focus on Energy incentives for solar and wind energy installations. Comments from RENEW Wisconsin are included in this article but please also see our website for key points to include in a comment to the PSC in docket 5-GF-191. By registering your concern over this chilling development you are standing up for Wisconsin jobs, 330-Wisconsin based wind and solar businesses, and clean, renewable energy.
By Tom Content
Incentives that help homeowners install solar electric and solar hot
water systems in Wisconsin are being suspended for the second time in
three years. A recent decision by the state Public Service Commission means the
state Focus on Energy program will stop awarding the solar incentives
from mid-August through the end of the year.
Focus is an initiative that’s overseen by the state PSC as well as
the state’s utilities. Focus on Energy was created to to help utility
customers receive incentives to make homes and businesses more
energy-efficient and install renewable energy systems.
“We understand that there will likely be some frustration due to any changes,” Focus on Energy said in announcing the suspension.
“However, the Commission’s direction will help us create a clear plan
for 2014. We anticipate the residential prescriptive incentives for
Solar Thermal and Solar Photovoltaic to resume in January 2014.”
Focus has been providing incentives of up to $1,200 for solar hot water systems and $2,400 for solar power systems.
After Aug. 13, when the PSC is expected to finalize a recent decision
on the matter, Focus will no longer provide the incentives this year,
said Tamara Sondgeroth, director of operations at Focus on Energy in
The stop-start approach to funding renewables is bad for small
businesses that were hurt when renewable incentives were suspended two
years ago, said leaders at Renew Wisconsin, a renewable energy advocacy group.