What? Clean air, reduced dependence on fossil fuels, saving money over time, avoiding rising energy costs, and becoming part of the green movement isn’t enough?
You need more? Well, okay. We’re not opposed to getting extra benefits for going solar either.
The programs below are available no matter where you live. To find out what types of incentives are available to you locally, just click on your state.
1) Federal Income Tax Credit
The federal Income Tax Credit is valued at 30 percent of your total solar system cost. A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of the income tax you owe. If you can’t use the full value in one year, you can roll over the remainder to next year. You should certainly check with a tax advisor to make sure you can claim the entire value, but make sure they’re referring to the most recent tax documents. The ITC is applicable to your Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) as well. This incentive reduces from 30% to 26% in 2019. There are further reductions scheduled each year after that.
2) Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS)
MACRS is an accelerated tax depreciation schedule in the United States. Under this system, the capitalized cost (basis) of tangible property is recovered over a specified life by annual deductions for depreciation. Qualifying solar energy equipment is eligible for a cost recovery period of five years. This incentive is typically only available for businesses and rental properties.
3) Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)
REAP provides grants and loans to farmers and rural small businesses to help purchase renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. The program pays up to 25 percent of the project.
4) Group Purchases
These programs (eg – Solarize) reduce the upfront purchase price by aggregating people in a local geographic area to provide bulk prices for a limited time. Some of these are led by a contractor and some by community groups and nonprofits like Northwest SEED, Solar Oregon, and Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center.