PA Sunshine Program Pays Out 1,000th Rebate after Only First Year

Jun 02, 2010, 13:47 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

10 Megawatts of Clean, Solar Power Added since Program Launched in May 2009

HATFIELD, Pa., June 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- After a little more than a year, the PA Sunshine Solar Rebate Program has proved immensely successful and popular, having enabled thousands of Pennsylvania homeowners and small businesses to lower their energy bills with the help of the sun's power.

Those projects are paying dividends for the state's economy and putting people to work at the same time, according to Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger, who today presented the 1,000th rebate check to Montgomery County homeowner Sally Kauffman. Kauffman received a $10,800 rebate for the 4.8-kilowatt solar system she installed that is expected to generate more than 5,500 kilowatt hours of electricity, saving her nearly $800 each year.

"The PA Sunshine Program that began just over a year ago has created tremendous results and a number of opportunities for our economy and environment," said Hanger. "Not only has the program helped to lower the price of solar energy here in Pennsylvania, but it also provides clean energy at a fixed price to our businesses and homeowners for the next 25 years.

"Ms. Kauffman is one of the Pennsylvanians who has taken advantage of the benefits that PA Sunshine has to offer. She recently took action with an eye on the future. Since the cost of the sunshine is free and the solar equipment requires little maintenance, Sally is locking in the cost of a portion of her home energy bill for the next couple of decades."

All told, he said, Pennsylvania has added approximately 10 megawatts of installed solar capacity in just over one year as a result of the PA Sunshine Program. More than 790 residential solar electric and 137 solar thermal projects have been completed with another 895 solar projects approved for construction. Among small businesses, another 108 solar electric and 10 solar thermal projects have been completed with another 318 solar technology projects approved for construction.

In total, the secretary added, the $100 million PA Sunshine Program has provided more than $72 million in rebates to fund more than 2,300 solar electric and hot water projects that are either completed or already under construction. Rebates for the remaining projects are being processed timely in the order they were received.

"In addition to creating hundreds of new jobs, these projects will be responsible for infusing more than $252 million of private matching funds into Pennsylvania's economy when completed," said Hanger.

Mercury Solar Systems of Philadelphia installed Kauffman's system and is one of more than 500 approved solar installers in the state. In the past year, the company has installed more than 50 solar projects and has dozens more scheduled to be installed in the coming weeks. That new demand has allowed the company to expand its workforce from three employees prior to the opening of the program, to 15 today.

"Alternative energy will be a key to Pennsylvania and the nation's ability to grow its economy by harnessing the power of new technology to create jobs," said Hanger. "PA Sunshine has been instrumental in generating interest in green energy deployment and is a driving force in helping to turn that interest into reality."

For more information, visit, keyword: PA Sunshine, or call the Department of Environmental Protection's Office of Energy and Technology Deployment at 717-783-8411.

Media contact: John Repetz, 717-787-1323

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection