The solar energy industry is doing a lot of good for the world – it’s reducing the environmental impact of heating and cooling homes and businesses, while at the same time providing thousands of people with jobs. These are also the reasons why governments, utility companies and a variety of other organizations are offering rebates and tax breaks to homes and companies that install solar panels. If you take advantage of these incentives, you can save between 30 and 50 percent on your solar panel cost.
Solar Rebates Only Available if You Purchase
The first thing you need to understand is that you can only qualify for tax rebates on your solar installation cost if you purchase the solar system. You can finance or pay cash for the solar system, however, you can’t lease it. When customers lease panels, the solar companies get the incentives, not the customer. This is definitely worth considering, if you’re looking to save money.
What Tax Rebates Are Available?
Both homeowners and business owners can qualify for solar incentives when they buy panels from solar companies. Here are some of the options you have for reducing your solar panel cost:
- Investment tax credit: Also known as the ITC, which is provided through the federal government. It allows property owners to deduct some of the solar costs on their tax return. Both residential and commercial tax payers can get a 30 percent tax credit on the total cost of the solar system (substracting any cash rebates received).
- State tax credits: On the west coast, there’s the California Solar Initiative, or CSI, which provides residents and business owners with additional savings when they go solar. There are hundreds of programs available.
- Cash rebates: There are cash rebates also available through the state, utility companies, municipalities and a number of other organizations, which are normally between 10 and 20 percent.
Save Money On Your Solar Panels
The best time to buy panels from solar companies is now. The longer you wait, the less you will save. The tax credit will only be at 30 percent up until 2019. After that, it will break down as follows:
- 2020 – 26 percent (homeowners and commercial)
- 2021 – 22 percent (homeowners and commercial)
- 2022+ – 10 percent (commercial)
After 2021, homeowners will no longer qualify for federal credits for their solar energy systems. If you’re still juggling with the idea of getting solar energy for your home or business, don’t waste too much time!