Solar Energy System Incentives Program broken promises spark Contact 5 investigation, lawmakers' ire
11,000 still waiting for millions in rebates
5:53 PM, Feb 8, 2013
7:15 AM, Feb 9, 2013
The Contact 5 investigators climbed to new heights to reveal how thousands of Floridians spent tens of thousands of dollars installing solar panels. They did it because the state promised them a big chunk of that money back through the
Solar Energy System Incentives Program.
Kevin Minogue tapped into his pension just to front the money for 22 rooftop panels. "I couldn't afford it without it, no way."
Today's he's ten grand in the hole.
Judy and Doug Boehm refinanced their home so they, too, could go solar without going poor. "They promised us $13,000, they chopped half of it away."
The state ran out of cash after tapping into federal stimulus dollars two years in a row just to keep up with the demand. But even after the state didn't have the money to refund consumers approved for the rebates, it couldn't stop new applications from coming in and getting approved.
"It's outrageous that a government would not come through on something that was promised," State Representative Mark Pafford said.
Now State Representative Irv Slosberg says it's payback time.
11,000 consumers are still waiting for about $25 million in solar rebate checks. "It's sort of like a green energy initiative turned into some kind of ponzi scheme and the state is stiffing the taxpayers!"