Whether you’re a solar installer looking to increase sales, a PV manufacturer trying to decide where to expand, a homeowner figuring out if you can afford a rooftop array or a rewnable-energy/climate-change activist fighting global warming, there is one Website you need to check out: www.dsireusa.org.
Since 1995, the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) has provided the most complete and up-to-date information on government incentives for solar power. Don’t let the acronym fool you — DSIRE tracks far more than just state incentives. They also have information on local, utility and federal incentives. (I think they decided to stick with the sexy acronym rather than toss in a bunch of extra letters.)
As an example, I’ve put up DSIRE’s summary map for net metering. Whether or not a state mandates net metering (and what their cap is) makes an enormous difference in the economics of going solar. That’s because net metering allows PV owners to get paid for any excess power they’ve generated and sent back to the grid for others to use.
DSIRE is a joint project of the DOE and North Carolina State University. They have disclaimers on-site pointing out that their data are not 100% complete and that consumers should double check with the appropriate authorities before acting on information from DSIRE. Do you hear the pitter-patter of lawyers scurrying between the lines? Me too, but double-checking is always a good idea.
There’s lots more good information on their site. Take time to browse through. And if you don’t have the time, be certain to bookmark DSIRE.
Or if you’ve got too many bookmarks as it is, make The Phoenix Sun your solar-link-central. We’ve added a widget to the column on the right side of the page (see: LINKS). It contains links to the best solar/renewable energy resources online. And notice: like so much in life, it starts with DSIRE.