The solar energy rebate program in Florida has long rewarded homeowners and businesses who have taken the initiative to install and utilize solar energy equipment. The incentives no doubt sparked an interest in alternative energies with its inception five years ago, but now, it’s coming to a close. Wednesday, January 14th will be the only day for Duke Energy and Florida Power and Light customers to apply for a rebate, and claims are expected to be maxed within minutes. However, Orlando residents with ties to Orlando Utilities Commission should not be burdened by this deadline, as the company has developed in-house services that provide transitions and conversions to solar as an alternative benefit.

The purpose of the rebate as it was founded was to inspire Florida residents and businesses to make the switch from electric to solar energy. Those who invested in solar energy equipment would be granted incentives, thus making their investment all the more worthwhile. It makes sense. The state needed something to help expand the alternative energy industry, and the rebate program has certainly helped. But now, the Public Service Commission has voted to end it, with no clear details on what is to replace it, if anything.

As costs to manufacture, purchase, and install solar panels go down, consumer investments continue to go up. Even those homeowners and businesses that might not be eligible for the rebate program are putting their money into solar, primarily because it’s grown increasingly afford. This is what led some Tallahassee decision-makers to discount the rebate program’s importance, suggesting the industry is due to expand in spite of the incentives and that the finances associated with the rebates might be better spent elsewhere.

For those interested in applying, Florida Power and Light rebate applications become available at 8:30 AM on Wednesday, the 14th, while Duke Energy customers can apply starting at 1:30 PM.