Eco-friendly homeowners in Washington D.C. have been told they will not be reimbursed for installing solar panels on their houses… because of budget cuts.

The city has gone back on a commitment to give $700,000 to 51 residents under a government grant, because the funds have been diverted to cut a budget deficit.

The programme had seen 315 people install solar panels, with another 417 on a waiting list which has now been closed by city officials.

Washington D.C. has said it will try to find money for the scheme in next year’s budget, according to director Christophe Tulou.

He told the Washington Post: ‘It just doesn’t seem fair to go through a process with them and have them make investments in solar panels under the assumption they would be reimbursed.

‘It’s really sad we are having these economic woes when we are.’

The Renewable Energy Incentive Plan, a $2million-a-year fund, was due to end next year.

City council member Mary M. Cheh said officials were searching for alternative sources of funding to reimburse the 51 residents.

The scheme was set up in 2009 and was funded by tax on electricity and gas bills.

It reimbursed participants with around a third of the cost of installing solar power systems.

In December, the D.C. Council voted to approve an emergency funding bill to cut a $188million budget deficit by cutting social services and temporarily laying off city workers for four days.

Brian Levy, 35, received a letter last month from Mr Tulou saying he would not be paid the $12,200 he had been promised for installing solar panels on his roof.

He told the Washington Post: ‘I’m not ready to throw a Molotov cocktail at the D.C. government, but I’m very disappointed. That money is my backup fund I use in case of sickness, my safety fund.’

Supporters of the scheme have set up an online group, DCSun, which has received forum messages from angry members.

source: dailymail