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Solar power financial incentives being cut in Wisconsin

Solar panels being installed on a roof (Reuters)
Solar panels being installed on a roof (Reuters)

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin homeowners will continue to lose out on financial incentives for solar electric-and-hot water systems. 

The state's Focus on Energy program announced a temporary suspension in August. 

It now continues through the end of the year, after the state Public Service Commission voted 2-to-1 to continue allocating solar funds for more cost-effective bio-energy projects. 

On its Web site, the Focus on Energy program said funding remains available to help pay for residential geo-thermal energy projects -- but not for solar thermal and photovoltaic technologies. 

Conservatives on the PSC have criticized funding for the larger numbers of home solar energy projects.  They say they're not cost-effective enough -- and they're not a wise use of the money that electric customers pay through their bills for the Focus on Energy program. 

Eric Callisto, the lone Democrat on the PSC, said the majority is creating uncertainty in the marketplace for solar energy.  He said the decision quote, "penalizes entire classes of technologies without any compelling justification."