The Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association (MAREA) will be discussing proposals regarding the Pennsylvania rebate program for solar electric and solar hot water installations for residences and small businesses on Jan. 27.The talk is open to the public and begins at 7 p.m. Jan. 27 at 1 TEK Park in Breinigsville at the Kutztown University Center for Innovation, 9999 Hamilton Blvd. The center is located at the former Agere site on Route 222.

According to a recent update by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, rebates up to 35 percent are being considered for grid-tied photovoltaic (solar electric) systems. If this is coupled with the 30 percent federal tax credit, payback for photo-voltaic installations would be in the seven-year range. Solar hot water, which has a quicker pay-back than solar electric, will have a 25 percent matching rebate up to $2,000 for residential and $20,000 for small business. Solar hot water installations are also eligible for a $2,000 federal tax credit.

Grants will be awarded on a first-come-first-serve basis to approved applications. The plan, which state officials hope to have in its final form by the end of March, will permit households and business with 100 employees or less are to receive one solar electric and one solar hot water rebate.

MAREA Executive Director Bill Hennessy will discuss the proposed program and give a brief overview of photovoltaic technology through demonstration of a portable solar electric system.

The solar hand truck is built by MAREA for use as a teaching with practical applications. The first unit is being delivered to the engineering department at Lafayette College.

Following the talk, a meeting will be held to discuss plans for the fourth annual Pennsylvania Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Festival Sept. 18 to 20 in Kempton. Volunteers are needed to help plan an expanded festival program and everyone with an interest in renewable energy or sustainable living is welcome to participate.

The three-day event attracts thousands of visitors from the Mid-Atlantic area. The festival promotes solar, wind and hydrogen power, biofuels, green building, organic farming and sustainable living.

MAREA, which was formed in 2005, is a nonprofit, grass-roots educational organization that supports citizen participation in renewable energy and sustainable living projects.

For more information contact Bill Hennessy, 610-682-4300 or Archie Follweiler, 610-451-8268.

Provided by MAREA.

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