Federal Tax Credits

A taxpayer may claim a credit of 30% of qualified expenditures for a system that serves a dwelling unit located in the United States that is owned and used as a residence by the taxpayer. Expenditures with respect to the equipment are treated as made when the installation is completed. If the installation is at a new home, the “placed in service” date is the date of occupancy by the homeowner. Expenditures include labor costs for on-site preparation, assembly or original system installation, and for piping or wiring to interconnect a system to the home. If the federal tax credit exceeds tax liability, the excess amount may be carried forward to the succeeding taxable year. The excess credit may be carried forward until 2016, but it is unclear whether the unused tax credit can be carried forward after then.  For more information you can go to www.energy.gov or www.dsireusa.org

Rebates and Incentives

Many government agencies, utilities and other municipalities offer a variety of tax credits, rebates and incentives to support energy efficiency, encourage the use of renewable energy sources, and back efforts to conserve energy and lessen pollution.  You can visit www.energy.gov to find out what incentives might be available in your area.

Electricity Rate Increases

PG&E has raised their rates about 6% per year since 1970.  The moment you go solar is the moment you start saving money and at an increasing rate over time. That is incentive in and of itself.