Thursday, March 17, 2011

Government Solar Power Incentives for Home Owners

Tax credits for home solar energy projects have not changed for 2011. In 2010 and 2011, your tax credit is 30 percent of its cost up to $500 per .5 kW of power capacity. After installing your solar system, you can expect lower energy bills, further increasing your savings. As always, you must navigate some tricky government stipulations to qualify for the tax credit. Do your due diligence before you invest in a solar energy system for your home.

Requirements for a Solar Panel Federal Tax Credit
Installations of solar hot water installations...Image via Wikipedia
Installations of Solar Water Heaters Worldwide

Solar panels, also called photovoltaic systems, must provide electricity for your home--not just for a swimming pool or hot tub--in order to qualify for a federal tax credit. Like solar water heaters, they must also meet all fire and electrical code requirements for your area. Improvements may be on an existing home or for new construction. The full cost of the solar water heating system, including labor or installation fees, is used in figuring your tax credit.

Requirements for Solar Water Heater Federal Tax Credit

To qualify as a tax credit, your solar water heater system must generate at least half of its energy from the sun. The system must either be certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation or a similar organization which your state endorses. The water being heated by your solar system must be used within the dwelling--not just for warming a swimming pool or hot tub. The photovoltaic system must pass all fire and electrical code requirements. According to the Energy Star website, if the system is an All Energy Star Qualified solar water heater, it qualifies for the tax credit. To get your tax credit, file IRS Form 5695 when you file your tax returns.
State Grants for Solar Power

While residents of all 50 states qualify for the federal tax credits, according to only a fraction of the states offer grants for solar power home projects. CalFinder website names nine states and provides links to their grant programs including: Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington state. In addition, Solar Power Rocks website has a search system allowing homeowners to search for solar rebates, tax credits and incentives in their home state as well as the state of their vacation home.
Government/Utility Company Incentives

Many utility companies work in conjunction with federal, state and county tax refunds and incentive programs which help make solar more affordable. The utility company can hook your solar system up to the nation's power grid and direct the excess power generated by your solar system to other households. Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) is one such example. Sacramento residents may use SMUD's online Clean Power Estimator to analyze the feasibility of installing solar with all available federal, state and local incentives. Check with your area's utility company for similar programs.
Look for this logo when considering your new r...Image via WikipediaReferences:

Energy Star; Frequent Questions: Is there a tax credit for solar water heaters? Which States Offer Government Grants for Home Solar Power?

Solar Power Rocks; Michigan State Solar Power Rebates, Tax Credits, and Incentives; January 2010

Sacramento Municipal Utility District: Clean Power Estimator

Resources:; More N.J. Homeowners Invest in Rooftop Solar Systems... ; October 2009

Electricity Science and Solutions for Solar; Government Solar Programs Offer... ; January 2011

Go Solar California; The California Solar Initiative - CSI

City of Roseville California: Solar Rebates

Go Solar California; Solar Incentive Programs by Utility

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  1. Thanks for swinging by 2 Against 1 - Twins, following back now.

  2. So good to see you here, "Mommy". Come again soon!


  3. There is a lot of great information on your website! I'm your newest follower :)

  4. Lisa the baker! LOL Glad to see you found my blog. Come again often!


  5. This program has created to motivate you financially to start a solar project.

  6. Great savings indeed! In Southern California, there are companies like American Solar Direct Inc offering home solar panel lease options.


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