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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

RENEW influences decisions of Focus on Energy

RENEW Wisconsin will continue to advocate for Focus on Energy to spend the $10 million per year allocated for renewable incentives.

We intend to keep a close watch on how the Focus administrators spend the money, and we told them so. These funds are being collected from rate payers this year, so Focus should spend as much of the money this year as possible. Simple!

RENEW effectively advocated for Focus on Energy (Focus) to reinstate incentives for distributed renewables since the non-residential incentives were suspended in July of 2011. RENEW organized members and other stakeholders to communicate this message to the Public Service Commission and Focus. RENEW’s advocacy led Focus to roll out the renewable programs in July.

Additionally RENEW solicited input from the renewable community, met with the Focus administrators, and provided suggestions in early June on how the Focus funds should best be used. Focus accepted and incorporated the majority of these suggestions in the Focus renewable programs that were launched in early July.

RENEW continues to advocate on behalf of the renewable energy community with the Focus administrators. We asked Focus to drop the need for installers to be licensed plumbers and electricians; to reconfigure the need for a building permit before installation; to clear up whether solar systems could be ground mounted; and, to reduce the minimum incentive for solar and wind installations in the Business Program RFP. Once again, Focus administrators accepted the majority of these suggestions.

Focus also addressed the questions received from RENEW and others in a list of frequently asked questions for residential systems at Focus FAQs.

Be aware that Focus has limited funds for residential solar projects. Focus will provide weekly updates on the level of funds available through the renewable energy program Web pages at Focus funding updates.

Business renewable projects will be considered for funding after a submission due date of August 29, 2012. FAQs on this RFP were issued on July 23, 2012.

Please continue to provide your comments and suggestions to RENEW and to Focus on how the renewable program should be managed within the budget constraints outlined by the PSC.

By working together, we can have the best program possible. Please support RENEW with a membership or donation at Join Today!

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