Rebates


Solar Incentives: Currently solar power incentives are available from the US Federal Government, many state governments, and even many local governments. Each type of incentive solar rebatesworks differently, but at the end of the day the goal of all of solar rebates and solar tax incentives is to speed up the adoption of solar energy by lowering the price.
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Federal Tax Credits: The federal government now gives a tax credit for 30% of the cost of a residential solar system, with no upper limit, through 2016. That credit is available for both existing homes and for new construction. If your system was going to cost $40,000 you would get a $12,000 federal tax credit for solar. If the system is a PV system, the energy produced must be used by the residence. Unlike tax deductions, a Federal Tax Credit directly reduces the amount of taxes paid to the federal government on a one to one basis. For example: “A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in what the taxpayer owes. That means that a taxpayer who owes $8,000 in income taxes and who receives an $8,000 tax credit would owe nothing to the IRS. A tax deduction is subtracted from the amount of income that is taxed. Using the same example, assume the taxpayer is in the 15 percent tax bracket and owes $8,000 in income taxes. If the taxpayer receives an $8,000 deduction, the taxpayer’s tax liability would be reduced by $1,200 (15 percent of $8,000), or lowered from $8,000 to $6,800.”www.FederalHousingTaxCredit.com.
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State Incentives: Visit our State Rebates and Incentives page for detailed information on the specific rebates an incentives offered by each state. The California Solar Initiative (CSI) provides over $3 billion in incentives with a goal of creating 1,940 megawatts (MW) of solar energy capacity by 2017. The system has ten levels of incentives that decrease as the cumulative solar capacity increases. That way the incentives are tied to the actual capacity installed, not an arbitrary timeline. Specific details can be found on the California Solar Initiative’s site.
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Local Incentives: Local solar power incentives vary from city to city and county to county. For example. the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) provides solar rebates to residents (and businesses) who install PV systems. The rebates range from $1,000 to $4,000 for most installations, and up to an additional $7,000 in rebates is available to low-income applicants. The details of San Francisco’s rebate can be found here.