The Renewable Energy Fund has reopened the rebate program for solar and wood energy. New Hampshire businesses seeking to control energy costs by incorporating solar or biomass energy on-site can now take advantage of rebates up to $50,000-$65,000 through the state’s Renewable Energy Fund. Under the fund, managed by the N.H. Public Utilities Commission (PUC), rebates are now available for commercial and industrial solar and biomass energy systems that meet program requirements.

This opportunity comes after the programs were recently re-opened on Aug. 29 after being closed over the summer because high demand outpaced available funding. Solar applications are due Sept. 17, with a lottery to follow Sept. 24, also to determine queue positions. Applications received after these deadlines will be funded or waitlisted based on availability of funds remaining. Terms and conditions are available at www.puc.nh.gov .

The recent reopening of the rebate programs is highlighted in a newly released “Financial Incentives for Commercial Sustainable Energy” free technical assistance resource just released by the N.H. Rural Renewables Program. Rural Renewables provides free renewable energy technical assistance to qualifying New Hampshire rural small businesses and agricultural producers. Under the grant, businesses can receive a free site visit and customized site report and technical guidance to begin the process of implementing renewable energy projects. The project is funded by a USDA Rural Development “Rural Energy for America Program” grant.

One participant of the grant, Kelly Chapman of Chapman Holdings in Meredith, says: “ I was thrilled to connect with New Hampshire Rural Renewables. One of my biggest concerns about researching sustainable energy options was working with manufacturers who would have a vested interest in the outcome of my questions. Through Rural Renewables, I was educated on a range of sustainable energy solutions for my specific property and the cost-benefit ratios of each. In addition to giving me a well-rounded understanding of substantial investments to consider, they also helped me identify immediate solutions that were both economically and environmentally beneficial. As a Main Street business and building owner, I appreciate that their feedback addressed my environmental concerns while also helping to protect the long-term viability of the businesses in my building.”

“We are helping small businesses reduce their energy costs through strategic use of renewables and efficiency,” says Andy Duncan, the Rural Renewables program manager at Lakes Region Community College (LRCC). “Many businesses are not aware of all these incentives, and we help them determine their eligibility for these incentives and how they can affect net project costs.”

The New Hampshire Rural Renewables program is a collaborative effort with the energy experts at LRCC, Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative, and NH Sustainable Energy Association. Visit www.lrcc.edu/nhrr to learn more about the program and to take the “Get Started Survey” for free technical assistance. The Rural Renewables homepage also provides a helpful list of free technical resources and NH commercial solar and wood energy installers.

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