In 2017, $4.5 million will be available to fund solar projects for customers of Portland General Electric and $2.4 million for Pacific Power customers. This year’s budget is smaller than in recent years and closely aligned to revenue we expect to receive in 2017. Prior year incentive budgets were larger mainly because Energy Trust was able to utilize reserve funds, which are no longer available. To maximize our 2017 budget, we will continue the strategy of regular and incremental incentive reductions in 2017.
For the past five years, Energy Trust has implemented gradual, stepped incentive reductions to manage solar incentive funds. This strategy allows us to be transparent and as predictable as possible with incentive availability and upcoming changes, and to be responsive to pricing changes and customer demand. Most importantly, it means that we can better manage the availability of incentive funds over the course of a year while continuing to support more customers who want to install solar on their homes and businesses.
As always, current and upcoming incentive rates and allocations are posted in the Solar Incentive Status Report. With a smaller budget this year, you’ll see that the incentive allocations are comparatively smaller and that we’re holding some incentive funds to give us flexibility later in the year if demand increases sharply. Due to these smaller allocations, expect more frequent incentive reductions. To avoid surprises, keep your sales team and customers informed of both the current and upcoming incentive rates and remind them that incentives are available on a first-come, first-served basis. You can sign up additional staff to receive Insider at this link.
The residential and business solar incentives in effect at the end of 2016 remained the same through the first incentive steps of 2017, with one exception—the incentive for larger (>300 kW) commercial systems in Pacific Power territory has now expired. You’ll find the current allocations for these steps in the Solar Incentive Status Report.
We will continue to update the status report each week. Check this report regularly to keep your customers informed of upcoming changes, and bookmark this link for easy access: .