Dedicated to the balanced discussion of global warming
By Shannon Bell
Anyone who’s looked into installing solar panels for their home know that solar power for the entire home is very expensive. At minimum, most homeowners can expect to pay at least $15,000. At maximum, homeowners may pay as much as $45,000 or even $60,000 for a solar panel array that will power their entire home.
However, both federal and state tax credits aim to encourage homeowners to take on a solar project anyway. The federal government, according to the US Department of Energy, will kick in 30% of the cost for a solar project registered before December 31, 2016. A 30% tax break would bring the cost of a $15,000 solar project down to $10,500.
This tax credit, established by the recent Recovery Act, is called the “Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit”. The credit applies to solar-electric systems (solar panel systems used to power the home), small-scale wind turbines, solar water heaters, and geothermal heat pumps.
The advantage to the Recovery Act credit is that there is no maximum dollar amount that the credit will pay for. In other words, whether you have a small solar panel array or a huge home with a huge array, that 30% will still apply.
Before you install solar energy, you might consider making your home more energy efficient. The more energy efficient your home already is, the smaller and less expensive your solar panel system will be.
As it so happens, there are also federal tax incentives for weatherizing your home and upgrading your appliances to appliances with the Energy Star label. This tax credit is called the “Home Energy Efficiency Improvement” tax credit, and there’s also the “Weatherization Assistance Program” for low-income homeowners.
State Tax Credits
You can save even more money when you combine the federal tax credit with local state (and even city) tax credits. These tax credits vary widely from state to state; the best place to check the tax credits in your state is the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIREUSA.org).
Some states are well-known for their progressive programs to help homeowners pay for renewable energy. These states include:
About the Author of this article
Shannon Bell writes for residentialsolarpanels.org a non commercial blog focused on her Photovoltaic experiences to help people understand how and why they should save energy starting investing in solar power. She writes on solar energy for Homes to help people learn how to start save energy from the scratch and then apply those experience to the next level.Tags: California, electric, EPA, geothermal, photovoltaic, power, snow, solar, solar energy, solar power, tax, water, weather, wind, wind turbines