With the addition of solar federal and state tax incentives and rebates, the average consumer can shave 50% off of their initial solar installation costs. A more complete list of the state incentives can be found on the DSIRE website. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when going through the application process.
Federal Tax Incentives
At the federal level, federal tax incentives have been extended another 8 years as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
· A 30% tax credit is available for residential and commercial installations. As of 2009 and 2010, the money is actually a grant for installations beginning before Dec 2010 and implemented before Dec 2016.
Solar America Initiative
The US Department of Energy is enacting an initiative to develop solar technology by creating an incubator which invests approximately 3 million dollars per company. The goal is to achieve grid parity through advancements in solar technology by the year 2016. Grid parity is achieved when the cost of a watt of solar electricity is equal to or lower than the cost of existing electrical grid electricity.
State and Local Initiatives
California is spearheading the advance of solar technologies by implementing a number of novel programs.
-San Francisco is allowing businesses to gain $10,000 in incentives and homeowners $6,000
-Berkeley allows homeowners to add the cost of solar installations to their property tax assessment and allows them to pay out of their electricity cost savings.