Category: Tax Credits & Incentives

The Federal Solar Tax Credit, Explained in Plain English

The Federal Solar Tax Credit, Explained in Plain English

The 30% Federal Solar Tax Credit can save you thousands when you switch to solar. But how does it work?

We’re here to explain the Federal Solar Tax Credit in plain English. If you want a basic overview of solar incentives without wading through the tax jargon, you’re in the right place.

What is the Federal Tax Credit for Solar?

When you install a solar power system, the federal government rewards you with a tax credit for investing in solar energy.

A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of the income tax you owe. $1 credit = $1 less you pay in taxes. It’s that simple.

A quick but necessary disclaimer: we’re solar experts, not tax accountants! We do our best to give accurate advice, but please check with a professional to be sure you’re eligible to claim the credit.

For example, let’s say you owe $5,000 in federal taxes this year. If you claim a $3,000 tax credit, that pays off part of your liability. You would be left to pay just $2,000 in taxes after the credit is applied.

It’s different than a refund, because you have to owe taxes to claim the incentive. But since most people owe taxes, most people end up being eligible.

How much money do I save with the Federal Tax Credit?

Right now, the tax credit is worth 30% of your total system cost. This includes the value of parts and contractor fees for the installation.

If it costs $10,000 to buy and install your system, you would be owed a $3,000 credit.

You are only allowed to claim the credit if you own your system. This is why we’re strongly opposed to solar leasing if you can avoid it. If another company leases you the system, they still own the equipment, so they get to claim the incentives.

You still get the benefits of cheap, renewable energy. But missing out on the tax credit is a huge blow to getting a positive ROI from your system.

It makes more sense to finance instead. You’re still on the hook for a loan, but you retain rights to the incentives that help make solar such a sound investment.

How Long Will the Tax Credit Stay in Effect?

As the saying goes, “all good things must come to an end.”

Soon, the federal government will begin trimming back on its 30% tax credit incentive.

The credit steps down in value over the next few years, until it disappears completely for residential customers in 2022. Here’s the value of the federal tax credit over the next five years:

  • 2018: 30%
  • 2019: 30%
  • 2020: 26%
  • 2021: 22%
  • 2022: 0% (10% for commercial projects)
The rate of the federal tax credit for solar installations through 2022.
The Federal Tax Credit is slated to be phased out by 2022.

You can claim the credit in the same year you complete the installation.

The tax credit plays a major part in the return on investment you see from going solar. It won’t be around forever, but the good news is you still have at least another year to capitalize on the full 30% credit.

How do I claim the Federal Tax Credit?

So let’s get to the good stuff. What do you need to do to actually get your hands on this money?

Our first bit of advice is to keep all your receipts from the start. The more you spend on your project, the larger your credit – make sure to keep track of everything!

Here are some of the expenses that you are allowed to claim:

  • Solar equipment
  • Freight shipping costs
  • Solar consulting fees
  • Professional installer fees
  • Electrician fees
  • Engineer fees
  • Tools bought or rented
  • Wiring, screws, bolts, nails, etc.
  • Equipment purchased or rented (scaffolding or a man-lift, for example)
  • Permitting fees
  • Permitting service costs

Costs will vary depending on the approach you take to installation. Hiring a contractor is an expense that can be claimed.

You can also choose to install the system yourself. Although you can’t claim your own labor as an expense for the credit, you still come out far ahead on overall project costs.

The graph below shows a comparison of the total installed costs (post-Federal Tax Credit) of the same exact system when you choose to DIY, hire locally, or source the work to a national installer:

Solar Installation Costs after Federal Tax Credit has been applied

How to File Form 5695 With Your 1040 Individual Tax Return

Once you’ve spent the money, you’ll need to prove it to the government to claim your tax credit. For that, you need IRS Form 5695 to claim the residential energy credit.

If you file your own taxes, use the steps below to claim your Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit. (You can find an in-depth walkthrough of this process with visual aids on EnergySage’s website.)

  • Gather all your expense receipts and put them in a safe place.
  • Confirm you are eligible for the tax credit. (If you own the system and owe taxes, you’re probably eligible. Check with a tax specialist if you’re not sure.)
  • Complete IRS Form 5965 to add up your renewable energy credits.
  • Add your renewable energy credit information to your typical form 1040.

That’s it!

We hope this serves as a good introduction to the Federal Tax Credit and helps you navigate the research process. If you need help from a solar designer, get in touch with us for a consultation. We’re happy to walk you through any questions you may have.

New call-to-action
Can you claim “after-install” batteries on your taxes?

Can you claim “after-install” batteries on your taxes?

Good News for the Future of Energy Storage

Here’s some news that’s sure to charge you up…

The IRS recently ruled that—for one couple who had purchased solar, at least—a retrofitted battery system qualified for federal solar tax credits.

Here’s the backstory…

The couple had been challenged when they tried to claim the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) on the cost of their energy storage.

Now as you may or may not know, batteries purchased at the same time as a solar energy system have been eligible for the tax credit since a ruling was made in 2013.

So, this couple reasoned, the battery they purchased a year after their system should also be eligible for the same ITC.

The IRS disagreed, but this couple wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. And on March 2 of this year—if you’ll forgive the pun—the taxman saw the light.

The IRS told them that the battery they added to their existing system DID qualify for a 30% tax credit—in part because solar power is the ONLY way to recharge the particular battery they had installed.

The battery was JLM Energy’s Phazr. The Phazr is installed between the solar panel and inverter, making it impossible to be charged by an outside source like the utility grid. It charges on solar power and stores energy during the day, then puts powerback into the grid at night. It’s easy to retrofit to existing systems—say, for example, if your usage changes or your utility rates go up. So it’s becoming quite a popular choice for solar energy system owners.

That the IRS gave the Phazr the nod is good news for both installers and consumers.

Utilities are starting to change the way they bill customers—and these changes (invariably) reduce the value that they credit for solar energy. Peak rates shifting to night-time when you have to draw power from the grid… Credits being lowered for adding energy to the grid during the day… We’ve heard it all.

In other words, consumers are getting hit twice.

But energy storage is the solution to future-proofing a system from these changes.

Which means if batteries become eligible for tax credits, homeowners will be happy. Installers will be happy, too, because consumers will buy more batteries.

Progress is Good, but Policy is Better

Now before you get too excited, you should know this: the couple received this decision from the IRS in what’s called a “private-letter ruling” that’s ONLY applicable to them.

In other words, for the time being, only this particular couple gets to claim a credit.

But solar industry analysts are still excited, for the simple fact that this ruling represents progress.

It may also indicate that the IRS might make this kind of approval into policy in the future.

And that means that—someday—everyone will enjoy the tax credit on after-install batteries.

How to Claim Your Solar Credit Infographic

How to Claim Your Solar Credit Infographic

How to Claim Your Solar Tax Credit

The 30% Federal Solar Tax Credit is still in effect. But what should you do in order to claim it? We put together this quick guide to walk you through the process and get you that tax credit in no time.

This guide will get you well on your way to filing for your credit, but we are solar experts and not tax professionals so we always recommend talking to a tax professional.

Know someone who’d benefit from this handy infographic? Share with them by clicking on our social icons!

New call-to-action
A Guide to Solar Panel Tax Breaks

A Guide to Solar Panel Tax Breaks

It’s no secret that leaders in energy production are working hard to ensure the viability of renewable energy sources. A large factor in determining renewable energy viability is the economics of it. Only when renewable energy becomes economically viable will it be able to supply larger quantities of clean energy on a greater scale.

Solar energy accounts for less than 1% of US energy consumption.

Though many residences, businesses and public buildings have adopted solar energy, it still only accounts for less than 1% of energy consumption in the United States and just above 1% globally. European countries like Germany, Italy and Greece have approximately 7% of their energy supplied by solar. But the solar industry has its sights set on far greater adoption rates that are required to grow the industry and help achieve energy independence.

The current paradox facing the solar energy industry is that higher solar installation rates depend on affordability, and affordability depends on higher solar installation rates. So how do solar energy providers and advocates increase solar installation and usage rates if consumers still perceive the initial costs as being too high? The answer is in financial incentives.

Financial incentives ease the burden of high installation costs and encourage homeowners and business owners to purchase solar energy systems. Financial incentives in the form of rebates, tax credits and tax exemptions are available at the municipal, state and federal levels. This strategy intends to galvanize widespread adoption of solar energy throughout the United States.

Today, there are countless financial opportunities for individuals and businesses to take advantage of when it comes to solar. Still, many people aren’t even aware of what’s available or how it all works. This guide will cover some of the most important solar panel tax breaks to be aware of and how to apply for them so you can start earning a return on your investment quicker.

What Is a Tax Credit?

Definition of a tax credit.

The first step in taking advantage of solar panel tax credits is understanding exactly what that is. A tax credit is a government-authorized amount of money that a taxpayer (individual or business) is allowed to deduct form their taxes owed to the government. Tax credits can be provided at a municipal, state or federal level. Unlike tax exemptions or deductions, which lower a person’s total taxable income, tax credits lower the amount of taxes you owe at the end of the year.

When it comes to solar tax credits, these dollar amounts are deducted from taxes based on a percentage of the total purchase and installation costs of solar products. These costs can be claimed through their designated tax codes when you file your taxes.

Why Are Tax Credits Offered?

There are many reasons why governments establish tax credits. In the case of solar energy, governments issue tax credits because it:

  • Lowers the consumer cost of a solar energy system
  • Motivates homeowners and businesses to switch to renewable energy
  • Reduces energy consumption levels
  • Bolsters economic growth in the renewable energy sector
  • Alleviates usage constraints on traditional grid energy
  • Increases viability of solar energy
  • Encourages independence from reliance on fossil fuels

All of this contributes to a larger vision of one day making solar energy economically viable enough to support larger-scale energy provision. Tax credits help people and businesses get on board with switching to solar energy while helping to eliminate financial risks, which are often barriers to adopting new technologies.

Other Types of Solar Tax Breaks and Financial Incentives

As mentioned, tax credits are available to help reduce the level of taxes owed to the government, based on the purchase of solar panels and other related products. But this is just one type of financial incentive offered at varying local, state and national levels.

Types of Financial Incentives

In addition to tax credits, financial incentives for solar energy installation can include rebates, grants and property or sales tax exemptions. Here’s how these other types of financial incentives work:

Rebate: A rebate, in general terms, is an amount of money the consumer gets back based on certain conditions of their purchase. This allows the consumer to get money back quicker than with a tax credit. Different structures of rebates are available, from lump sum amounts after purchase to regular dollar amounts based on the amount of solar energy being produced. Rebates often come with a time limit, so it’s important to look for this when you first start planning your investment.

Grant: A grant is a sum of money that’s given to individuals or organizations to help them cover the costs of solar panel installations. Grants can come from the government or from private organizations who want to help encourage solar adoption. Grants are often available for low-income homes or for businesses as part of their building energy efficiency improvements. Grants can either fully or partially cover a solar energy project and are typically non-taxable.

Tax Exemptions: A tax exemption occurs when the purchase of a product or service is excluded from an otherwise applicable tax. This can include state or city sales and use taxes or property taxes. Most states offer an exemption on sales taxes when purchasing solar equipment. Depending on the state, this may include solar components as well as the professional installation services.

Another type of tax exemption is for property taxes. Because solar power systems increase home and building values, some states are now excluding solar energy systems from property tax assessments so home and building owners don’t have to pay increased property taxes.

The Federal Solar Tax Credit (Solar ITC)

The most well-known financial incentive for solar energy installation in the United States is a federal tax credit for solar panels, also known as the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). It was first implemented in 2006 as a way to stimulate the solar energy industry in the United States. The solar ITC is available both for residential and commercial installations. Here is what’s included in the federal solar tax credit and how it works:

30% credit from the Solar ITC

  • Tax Credit Amount: The Solar ITC offers a 30% credit on residential and commercial solar installations. Prior to 2009, there was a $2,000 ceiling on the federal solar tax credit. But as of January 1, 2009, new solar installations don’t have a maximum credit amount. The 30% tax credit for solar panels is available for installations that go into service before December 31, 2019.
  • Tax Credit Administration Details: The IRS issues the federal solar tax credit. For residential solar installations it falls under section 25D, and for commercial installations it falls under section 48 of the federal tax code. If your solar tax credit exceeds that year’s tax liability, the remainder can be carried forward to the following taxable year.
  • Tax Credit Application: If you’re a residential homeowner, your federal tax credit gets applied to your personal income taxes to reduce your total amount owed. If a business installs a solar energy system, the business claims the credit on their business taxes. The credit amount is calculated at 30% of the total eligible solar installation costs. It’s important to note that the ITC is a credit and that you do not receive a cash rebate from the government later on.
  • Tax Credit Eligible Projects: The solar ITC covers solar-electric (photovoltaic or PV) and solar water heating projects. These can include residential or commercial projects as well as installations on RVs, mobile homes and boats deemed to be secondary residential dwellings. The solar project does not have to be installed at the person’s primary residence in order to be eligible for the tax credit, but the residence does have to be in the United States.

All solar installations packages are eligible for the solar tax credit.

  • Tax Credit Eligible Expenses: All solar installation packages for home or business are eligible for the solar tax credit. These include the photovoltaic panels, inverters and other components, as well as the installation cost. Backup battery systems for dwellings or buildings that may not be grid-tied are also eligible for the ITC. Any products that upgrade or expand existing solar electric or solar water heating systems are also eligible if they include at least one photovoltaic panel.
  • Tax Credit Requirements: Specifically concerning solar water heating projects, the installed equipment must be certified for its performance by the Solar Rating Certification Corporation (SRCC). At least half of the property’s energy used to heat the water must come from solar.
  • Tax Credit Term: Originally, the Solar ITC was only offered until the end of 2015. However, it has since been renegotiated and is now offered at 30% now through until the end of 2019. After that, the credit is reduced to 26% in 2020 and 22% in 2021. After 2021, the residential solar tax credit will no longer be available. However, a 10% tax credit will permanently be available to commercial businesses.

State-Level Solar Tax Credits

Individual states offer their own tax credit.The Solar Investment Tax Credit issued by the federal government isn’t the only solar tax break available to residences and businesses. Individual states offer their own tax credit for solar panel programs to their residents on qualified solar installation projects.

Here’s how some of the states are offering their own solar tax credits:

1. Arizona: The Arizona Solar Energy Credit is a personal tax credit first offered in 1995. It provides taxpayers with a 25% personal income tax credit based on the total amount spent on residential solar photovoltaic and water heating systems. It offers this 25% tax credit up to the amount of $1,000 per residence.

2. Massachusetts: The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources provides its residents with a 15% personal income tax credit — up to $1,000 maximum — on all residential solar photovoltaic and water heating installation projects.

3. New York: The Residential Solar Tax Credit program offers New York residents a 25% income tax credit on residential solar energy systems, up to a total amount of $5,000. There is no expiration date on this solar tax credit at this time.

4. South Carolina: South Carolina’s Solar Energy Tax Credit program offers a 25% personal income tax credit on residential and commercial solar photovoltaic and water heating installations. The tax credit limit is $3,500 for any given tax year or up to 50% of taxpayer liability for that year — whichever is less. South Carolina’s Solar Energy Tax Credit program is available now through the end of 2018.

5. Utah: Utah offers a Renewable Energy Systems Personal Tax Credit of 25% on all eligible residential solar energy installations up to $2,000. At this time, Utah has not provided an expiration date on this financial incentive program.

Solar Panel Rebate Programs

Solar panel rebate program incentives.

Solar panel rebate programs incentivize homeowners and businesses by providing them with a cash rebate after they’ve installed and begun using their solar energy system. These rebate programs and amounts vary by state, municipality and even utility company.

Many solar panel rebate programs are based on production capacity, whereby they offer a certain rebate amount per watt of energy produced. Others may be based on the amount invested in the system’s installation.

Here’s a look at some different solar rebate programs happening at different levels of government and with different project types. Make sure to check the sources for updates as these incentives change frequently:

1. LADWP Solar Incentive Program: The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) Solar Incentive Program offers residential homeowners, businesses and government organizations a rebate on solar energy produced by photovoltaic panels. These rebates are available now through the end of 2017. Residential rebates are $0.25 per watt, commercial rebates are $0.40 per watt and governmental or non-profit rebates are $1.15 per watt.

These particular solar panel rebate amounts will step down over time. Rebates are eligible for system sizes between 1 kilowatt and 5 megawatts.

2. CPS Energy Solar PV Rebate Program, San Antonio, TX: The utility company CPS Energy offers San Antonio, TX residents a solar photovoltaic energy production rebate of $0.80 to $1.20 per watt depending on different eligibility tiers. The Solar PV rebate program, funded through the Save for Tomorrow Energy Plan, is available for commercial, industrial and residential installation projects from now through 2020.

3. Boulder, Colorado Solar Rebate: The city of Boulder, Colorado offers its residents and businesses an approximately 15% rebate on any city sales and use taxes paid on materials and/or permits needed to install a solar energy or water heating system. To obtain their rebate, homeowners and businesses must complete their rebate application within 12 months of the city’s final inspection. While this financial incentive program is based on an amount of taxes paid, it is considered a rebate because it gives the applicant cash back, as opposed to a credit.

Solar Tax Breaks and Exemptions

As mentioned, other important solar tax breaks to be aware of are property and sales tax exemptions. Unlike tax credits, solar tax breaks and exemptions are immediately effective. How solar tax breaks and exemptions work depends on the state or local jurisdiction.

Here are some examples of available solar panel tax breaks and exemptions in certain states:

1. California Property Tax Exclusion: California has primarily led the way in solar incentives and adoption in the United States. California alone has over 200 renewable energy incentive programs, including the important Property Tax Exclusion for Solar Energy Systems. This property tax exemption program is statewide and provides a 100% exclusion on the solar energy system’s value.

California’s state tax code doesn’t consider solar energy systems as increasing home value for property tax calculating purposes. Therefore, if you install a residential solar energy system, your property taxes won’t increase because of the value solar adds to the home. This is particularly important in the State of California, where property values have risen dramatically in recent years. A property tax exemption is a nice incentive for those concerned about increasing property taxes.

2. Washington DC Personal Property Tax Credit: Similar to California’s program, Washington, DC offers a 100% exemption on residential and commercial solar installations when it comes to assessing property taxes. This incentive program was implemented in 2012 and covers both photovoltaic and water heating solar installations, as well as other solar technologies.

3. State-Level Sales Tax Exemptions: Often overlooked, solar panel tax breaks are the various sales tax exemptions on solar installations and products. Over 29 states offer some form of sales and use tax exemption on solar equipment, devices or professional installation services performed by contractors. For example, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Arizona offer a 100% sales tax exemption on solar energy systems installed for residential or commercial uses, with no maximum amount.

Tips on Claiming and Receiving Tax Credits and Rebates

If you’re planning to install a solar power system for your home or business, it may seem like an overwhelming process, given how many different financial incentives and options are out there. To help make the process easier, here are a few tips to follow while claiming and receiving your solar panel tax credits and rebates:

1. Ask your Solar Design Tech: Our solar design techs are experts in their field. We have robust information about the different types of incentive programs in your area. We can help recommend the best rebates and tax credits for solar panel programs and ensure your particular system meets the eligibility requirements of the incentives.

The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency

2. Research Financial Incentives in Your Area: If you’re taking the DIY approach or you just want to do your own research, you can check online using tools like the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE). This comprehensive database is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and holds thousands of different local, state and federal tax credits, rebates, grants and other financial incentives for renewable energy installations.

3. Consult a Tax Professional: Because many of these financial incentives — particularly the federal solar investment tax credit — involve tax liability, it’s important to consult a tax professional. Consulting a tax professional prior to installing your solar electric or water heating system can ensure your specific project meets all eligibility requirements. Additionally, a tax professional can help ensure you’ve completed your applicable tax sections appropriately. This is especially necessary where a business investment in solar is concerned.

4. Act Sooner Rather Than Later: Many of the financial incentives, including the federal solar tax credit, have deadlines attached to them. This is to encourage homeowners and businesses to adopt solar power now. Time-sensitive financial incentives further encourage people to switch to solar if they know their tax credit eligibility will expire. With the federal tax credit, the highest amount available is a 30% credit, which is only available until the end of 2019. From there, the credit amount drops annually until it goes away completely in 2022.

Remember that you’re able to combine multiple incentives together in order to get the greatest possible return on your investment. By combining financial incentives, you not only offset your upfront installation costs with sales tax exemptions, but you can also reach your payback period earlier through the various rebates and income tax credits available.

Impact of Solar Tax Credits and Rebates

Solar industry employment

Incentivizing solar energy at a consumer level is essential to ensuring the industry’s long-term prosperity. The more homeowners and businesses take advantage of available solar panel rebates and tax credits, the more it supports the industry. As the industry grows, solar energy will become increasingly more accessible to people of all income levels.

Importance of incentivizing solar energy.The federal solar tax credit in particular has had a tremendous impact on the solar energy industry. Policymakers saw the industry growth and positive changes that came from the original ITC, which caused them to extend the program from 2016 onward. It’s expected that this extension will further drive growth in the solar industry.

It’s believed that by 2020, the solar industry will employ 420,000 workers and will create more than 20 gigawatts of solar electricity annually. It’s estimated that with these projected numbers, solar electricity will account for 3.5% of all energy consumption in the United States by this time. This is a massive increase from the less than 1% solar provides today.

If you are interested in installing a residential or commercial solar energy system, be sure to research all applicable local, state and federal financial incentives you may be eligible for. For more information on which incentives are available to you, visit Wholesale Solar’s list of local and state incentives.

New call-to-action

Massive Solar Rebates for Indiana Residents

Massive Solar Rebates for Indiana Residents

Attention Northern Indiana Residents:

Have you heard of the Feed-in Tariff program from NIPSCO? This program allows homeowners producing renewable energy to sell power back to NIPSCO at some of the highest rates-per-kWh available in the country!

NIPSCO (Northern Indiana Public Service Company) is currently accepting Participation Request Forms, and Wholesale Solar encourages you to apply!

Read More Read More

April Savings – Federal Tax Credit and Solar RV Sale

April Savings – Federal Tax Credit and Solar RV Sale

With summer just around the corner, there are two great reasons to consider going solar:

30% Federal Tax Credit

Buying a solar system for your home or business may qualify you for a 30% Tax Credit for the total cost of your entire installation. Of course this includes the cost of the solar power system, and also the cost of installation, engineering, random equipment, fees, etc. So save your receipts throughout the process!*

See our federal tax credit page for details, and also check our local and states incentives page for possible additional savings on top of the federal credit.

The future of the 30% Federal Tax Credit is murky and will either be decreasing or disappearing as of December 31, 2016. Make your purchase now to lock in your credit in for the 2015 tax season!

*Your expense items may vary. Be sure to speak with your tax professional.

Read More Read More

It’s high time to go solar in Missouri.

It’s high time to go solar in Missouri.

Missouri ArchesWhy? Right now, Ameren Missouri and Kansas City Power & Light, two of Missouri’s largest utility companies, will pay you $2.00 per watt and as much as $50,000 to purchase and install a solar power grid-tied system. What does that mean for you? Take, for example, one of Wholesale Solar’s mid-sized solar power grid-tie packages. It comes with forty 245-watt solar panels, so the system size is 9,800 watts (40 x 245). With a $2.00 per watt rebate, you’ll be eligible to receive $19,600. That’s $4,000 more than the cost of the system!

The 30% Federal Tax Credit will help you further recoup your solar investment. It can be applied to equipment and installation costs without a maximum limit.

See what your utility company would pay you to go solar and read about the 30 Federal Tax Credit here.

New call-to-action

Texas: Money for nothin’, Power for free.

Texas: Money for nothin’, Power for free.

In Texas, utility solar incentives are generous! If you compare them to the cost per watt for a solar power grid-tied system, you’ll see that some incentives will literally pay for an entire system. Wholesale Solar’s Gridtied Solar Power Systems range from $1.30 to $2.40 per watt. While rebates and incentives in Texas range from $0.75 to $2.50 per watt, the Federal Tax Credit covers about 30% of the cost. Do the math!

Texans, research your rebates here.

New call-to-action

Florida Solar Incentives Are Back

Florida Solar Incentives Are Back

Until now, 2012 solar rebates offered by the major utility companies have been dried up.

If you’re lucky enough to be a customer of Gainesville Regional Utilities, Progress Energy, Tampa Electric, Florida Power and Light or Gulf Power, you’ll now have access to $1.15 to $2.00 per watt on your grid-tied solar power system. What does that mean to you? If you qualify, you’ll receive $7,500 to $20,000 from your utility company for “going solar”. And this does not include the 30% Federal Tax Credit that can be applied to equipment and installation costs or net-metering credits you could receive on your power bill.

Most of the applications are due on October 1, so you’ll want to get started right away. Read more about solar incentives available in Florida.

New call-to-action

Solar Leasing is Kind of Like Eating Fast Food

Solar Leasing is Kind of Like Eating Fast Food

Leasing solar is kind of like eating fast food. Fast food will solve a short term problem, your hunger pangs, but over the long haul could be bad for your health. When it comes to investing in a solar power system, the up front costs are the biggest challenge. Solar Leasing will allow you “go solar” with no money down and a “low” monthly payment. As enticing as this it is, over time, it will be detrimental to your financial health.

If you decide to go with Solar Leasing, it’s very important to read the fine print. What starts out as being a “low” monthly payment often increases 3.9 percent each year. Over a 15-year lease, that adds up. While you can stop eating fast food at any time, you cannot easily break a lease agreement. If you wanted to sell your house, for example, the potential homeowner would need to have the same high credit score you do in order to assume the lease. If not, you’ll be paying up the wazoo to the leasing company.

There are great many reasons not to do solar leasing. This is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s incredibly profitable for the leasing companies, but not as good of a deal for you. While you save on 10 to 15 percent on your utility bill, the solar leasing companies are taking over the Federal and State solar incentives that would normally go to you, had you decided to purchase it.

We don’t want to get caught up in a no-money down scheme, do we? Doesn’t it make you think of the housing market crash? Come to think about it, it might better to sit back for a bit, maybe even eat some fast food, and think about what’s really best for us.

Read more about Solar Leasing.

New call-to-action