Solar Rebate Guide

There are many benefits to be gained by going solar. In addition to saving money on your energy bill, you'll be helping the planet by reducing your carbon footprint. You'll be more independent energy-wise and will no longer have to rely on the inefficiencies of the power grid.

The initial cost of going solar may seem daunting, with installations typically in the $40,000 to $50,000 range. However, the availability of solar rebates makes it possible to reduce this initial cost by as much as 50% and in some cases even more. Solar power installation can be expensive, but by using this guide to understand solar rebates you can enjoy significant savings on your investment.

Federal Solar Incentives

Solar power use has seen unprecedented growth following the 2005 enactment of federal solar tax credits. In 2007, double the amount of solar electric capacity was installed compared to 2006.

Late in 2008, the 30% tax credit was extended by the Economic Stabilization Act. It now covers residences as well as commercial facilities. Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) provisions did away with the $2,000 limit for residential solar power. This allows homeowners to receive the full 30% tax credit for solar power installations done after Dec. 31, 2008.

State Solar Rebates and Other Incentives

Many states have instituted incentives to encourage homeowners and businesses to make the switch to solar power. Incentives vary from state to state, so it's best to consult a local solar power professional installer to learn about programs in your area.

In some areas, rebates can reduce the cost of initial installation by 50% or even as much as 70%.

For example, Arizona has a Renewable Incentive Program that provides a rebate of up to $75,000 for the cost of photovoltaic (PV) projects. In other states, rebates are available based on kilowatt-hours or tax credit are available for homeowners who use solar power.

Utility Company Incentives

Utility companies are also looking for ways to make solar power attractive. Some of the incentives available include billing credits, direct rebates and per-watt discounts. These incentives will lower installation costs and provide ongoing savings on utility bills. Finding a professional solar installer who has current knowledge of rebate and incentive programs is the best way to insure that you take full advantage of these offers.

The Future of Solar Incentives

As more organizations and government bodies become aware of the value of solar as a renewable power source, the sources of rebates and incentives will continue to grow. In some areas, rebates can reduce the cost of initial installation by 50% or even as much as 70%. Discounts, tax credits and the availability of creative financing point to a bright future for this renewable energy source. Learning about all the available incentives may seem complicated, but there are many experts available to make the process of switching to solar power as easy as possible. You'll find that making the move is as good for your budget as it is for the environment.