What Rebates and Incentives Are Available for Switching to Solar Energy?
More and more homes and businesses are switching to solar. Solar is good for the environment. It reduces pollution and wastefulness in our society. That’s why governments around the world are encouraging their citizens to switch to solar energy using rebates and incentives.
What kind of rebates and incentives are available to you? How much money can you get back for your solar panel installation? Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about which rebates and incentives are available for making the switch to solar energy.
Check Rebates and Incentives at Energy.gov
The best place for Americans to look at tax credits, rebates, and incentives on solar energy is Energy.gov, which is the official website for the US Department of Energy.
You can view the tax credits page here: https://energy.gov/savings
In the United States, some rebates are available at the federal level. Others are offered only by certain states. Using the Energy.gov official website, you can select your state and view all eligible discounts for solar panel installations in your state.
Federal Solar Energy Rebates
Certain solar energy incentives are available across the United States, regardless of where you live. These programs were implemented by the federal government to encourage the installation of solar energy systems.
The best-known incentive is called the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, which allows homeowners to get a 30% rebate on solar energy systems installed anywhere in the United States.
This program was scheduled to end on December 31, 2016. However, the government decided to extend the program just for solar energy (other renewable energy systems were not included in the extension).
The 30% discount is scheduled to end in 2019, at which point the rebate will be gradually reduced year after year:
- 30% rebate for PV systems placed in service by December 31, 2019
- 26% rebate for PV systems placed in service after December 31, 2019 and before January 1, 2021
- 22% rebate for PV systems placed in service after December 31, 2020 and before January 1, 2022
This rebate was established by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. It originally applied to solar electric systems, solar water heating systems, and fuel cells. In 2008, the program was extended to small wind energy systems and geothermal heat pumps. Originally, there was a $2,000 credit limit for solar electric systems. That limit was later removed and is no longer in place today.
To learn more about the program, and to learn how it applies to your PV system installation, visit this page at DSIREUSA.org.
Unlike other rebate programs, there are few restrictions on this rebate. You can even get rebates for systems installed over a decade ago. As long as the system was placed in service on or after January 1, 2006 and on or before December 31, 2021, you could be eligible for a rebate. And, unlike other incentive programs, the residence where you installed the solar panels does not need to be your principal residence.
Use DSIREUSA.org to Find More Incentives and Rebates
DSIREUSA.org is another useful site to discover clean energy rebate programs in your area. DSIRE is the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.
The organization was founded in 1995 and is operated by the NC Clean Energy Technology Center at NC State University. It’s funded by the US Department of Energy.
Using DSIRE’s website, you can find incentives programs for every state in the US. You can also view the total number of incentives available in each state.
You can see that Alabama has 40 solar energy incentive programs, for example, while Colorado has 143 and California has 264.
Obviously, having a greater number of incentive programs doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll save more money. However, it does indicate that some states are more willing to promote solar energy than others.
Browse through the DSIREUSA.org website today to discover a list of incentive programs in your area. Incentives are available for corporations and businesses. You can separate incentives based on when they were created, and which type of incentives they are (like financial incentives, rebate programs, industry support, or corporate tax credits).
Check SEIA.org for More Information
In addition to the Department of Energy’s official website, you can find information about incentives and rebates online at the Solar Energy Industries Association’s official website, SEIA.org.
The site explains solar energy tax credits in a way that’s easy for residential and commercial customers to understand. It explains how long each tax credit and rebate program will last, and which tax credits and incentives are available to you.
Check SEIA’s solar energy rebates and incentives page here.
SEIA is a Washington, DC-based association of solar energy companies built to promote solar energy across the United States. It’s in their best interests to promote solar energy rebate programs – because when there’s a greater demand for solar energy, the entire Association becomes stronger.
Talk to your Local Solar Panel Installation Company
One of the nice things about solar energy rebates is that you rarely have to research rebates yourself: typically, solar panel installation companies will explain all of the available rebates and incentives in your area.
Obviously, solar panel installation companies benefit hugely from incentives. They earn a high price for their services, while customers pay a low price (after rebates and incentives). The US government (or the state government) pays the difference.
Ultimately, solar panel installation companies have installed hundreds of systems in your local area. They know the existing incentives that are in place, and they know how homeowners can take advantage of these incentives.
These companies are also more likely to stay up-to-date on new tax incentives and programs. They know which programs are scheduled to launch in the future, and they know which programs are scheduled to end.
If you’re ever in doubt about which solar rebates and incentives apply to you, talk to solar panel installation companies in your area.
Using the resources listed above, you can find the best incentives and rebates for switching to solar energy!