26 Jul

2015 Solar Tax Credit – Solar Rebate

Posted by Norman F

solar panel, solar energy
Get a Free Solar Power Estimate from a local vendor by clicking the link to the right.

2014 – 2015 continues the very popular residential Solar Federal Tax Credit first enacted in 2009.  The previous solar tax credit program was capped at $2,000.  With the new credit, you can claim up to 30% of solar power costs for a new solar electric system off your Federal taxes. Existing homes & new construction qualify. Both principal residences and second homes qualify. Rental properties do not qualify. Tax Rebate Expires: December 31, 2016 The Solar Federal Tax Credit 2013 – 2014 works especially well when coupled with a state rebate program. (CA, CT, NJ, NY)

Also look for city solar incentive programs, that can also save you money on your solar panels.

On the tax credit, existing homes & new construction qualify. Both principal residences and second homes qualify. Rentals do not qualify. This 2014 Solar Federal Tax Credit reduces the amount of tax you owe. The credit is a reduction of total income tax at the bottom of your tax return. This tax credit is a non-refundable tax credit. Consult your tax adviser for details about solar power. Use it or lose it!

California Solar Power Rebates

In the Spring of 2013, most of California ran out of money for their solar rebates. Southern California Edison still had some rebate funds available. Rebates make solar power worthwhile in California as well as several other states. Without hefty rebates, few systems would be sold. California Solar Initiative Rebates vary according to system size, customer class, and performance and installation factors. The subsidies automatically decline in “steps” based on the volume of solar megawatts confirmed within each utility service territory. Be sure to check this website tracker page to see where rebate amounts are currently at. The rebates are clearly approaching a lower level in the near future. If you are interested in the solar system and reside within the service area, it is time to start moving your project forward.

Example Solar Electric System cost with Rebates A 5kW solar electric system costing $24K would get $6K in a California Utility rebate and $7.2k Federal Solar Tax Credit. First year system net cost $10.8k. System pricing is always changing, usually downwards. The estimated annual electricity cost before you installed a solar system would be approximately $1700, the price with your solar electric system installed would drop to $400. System payback time would be roughly 11 years.

Rebates vary depending on location of course. Rebates make solar power Very attractive! The estimated life span of most solar electric systems is from 20 – 30 years, so after your system payback time, your system has already paid for itself. The payback time in New York, with its state and local tax credits is even shorter. The payback time in Minnesota and Oregon is slightly longer than California.

San Francisco Solar Rebates

The city of San Francisco recently started GreenFinanceSF, a financing program that helps to pay for water savings, energy efficiency, and renewable energy projects that you might not have been able to afford.  The repayment obligation is attached to the property, rather than the individual, and is paid back through property taxes over the life of the financing. The maximum payback is 20 years. this program applies to residential and commercial property owners. Eligible projects include home energy audits, upgrading heating systems, upgrading water heaters, installing solar hot water, installing solar electric panels, and conserving hot water.

The city wants people to get home energy audits before doing any work, so you see all the options. The program has an online application and application processing fee of $300. FAQ 800-803-6930 is their phone number. If you sell the property before everything is paid back, whoever buys the property will make the rest of payments over time through their property tax bill. This program was funded in part Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The City and County of San Francisco received direct funding through the federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program that was used to establish the framework of GreenFinanceSF. This Solar Federal Tax Credit is not affected by the AMT or Alternative Minimum Tax.

San Francisco Solar Panel Discount

This program may have its funding slashed by 40% shortly, so get in now if you have been thinking about it. Go solarSF helps San Francisco residents acquire discounts on Solar panel installation in San Francisco. There is a GoSolarSF rebate of $2000-6000 and a firm that helps people collectively buy panels at lower prices. A 2Kw system for $6000 after rebates instead of $18,000. Pretty sweet. Make sure you factor in any city permit or contractor installation fees. Also consider fixing any roof problems before you add solar panel.

San Jose Solar Discount

Let’s face it, solar panels are great but very expensive. The nonprofit Bay Area Climate Collaborative has set up a new program called SunShares that allows employees of participating companies and credit unions to buy solar panels at the significantly discounted price. San Jose city workers have a group by program of their own, that allows them to buy top rated SunPower solar panels at more than 40% off. Financing is available from the San Jose Credit Union. They are looking for other municipalities and businesses to participate, so be sure to contact them.

Solar Panel Group Buy

Solar Power, Solar Panels

1bog.org (One block off the grid) is working to aggregate solar purchases to save money. They are active in San Francisco Bay Area, LA, San Diego, and New Orleans. They are a community based, national organization helping to negotiate group discounts between consumers and solar installers.

Solar Power During Power Outages

Many people believe that their solar electric system will provide them with power when the power is off. Recently Super Storm Sandy reminded solar panel owners that this is not the case. A standard known as UL 1741 allows solar electric systems to be connected to an electric utilities system. The utility becomes an electrical backup, for times when the sun isn’t shining.

The electric company becomes part of a centralized grid for distributing and buying power. If they are offline, the whole system shuts off. You can go completely “off the power grid” by having your own battery backup. This option is extremely expensive and requires more maintenance and complexity. Most people that opt for this type of system live far away from electric wires. With the recent solar rebates, it is a great time to get off the grid.

Be sure to read our article: Are solar panels for me? Interested in Solar Energy? Read our articles on solar power:

Posted on July 26th, 2015
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33 Responses to “2015 Solar Tax Credit – Solar Rebate”

  1. Ways to Save Energy, Money on your Utility Bill | Easy Eco Blog Says:

    […] advantage of the 30% upto $1500 Federal Tax Credit on install Energy efficient items such as solar panels, windows, doors, skylights, water heaters, furnaces, boilers, pellet stoves, etc at a nice […]

  2. James A vonBergen Says:

    Greetings, Elks Lodge #6 in Sacramento, CA (non-profit) is installing a solar water panel system on the roof for the indoor swimming pool. Present natural gas fired heater is 400,000 BTU. Is there any Federal and/or State Solar rebates??
    Sincerely, Jameas A. vonBergen

  3. easy eco blog Says:

    Solar heating systems for pools aren’t covered by the Federal Tax Credit.

  4. California Solar Initiative Rebates | Easy Eco Blog Says:

    […] 30% uncapped Federal tax rebate has no doubt help sell more solar power systems. […]

  5. Are Solar Panels for me? - Will Solar Power be worthwhile? | Easy Eco Blog Says:

    […] Federal Tax Credit: […]

  6. spr Says:

    can tree removal for a ground mount pv system be part of the installed cost?

  7. PG&E Energy Efficiency Rebates, Appliance rebates, Utility PGE Rebates, green homes, ways to go green | Easy Eco Blog Says:

    […] Be sure to also take advantage of the Federal Energy Efficiency Tax Credit. This Federal tax credit can save you money in addition to your utility companies’ promotions. It applies to many items including: Windows, Doors, Skylights – Wood Heat Stoves, Pellet Stoves, Fireplace Inserts – Energy Efficient Water Heaters – Solar panels. […]

  8. Ian Says:

    If I make a change to the solar system that costs to adjust (we need to change inverter for larger one, it is not dooing its job), can I take 30% off this cost (about $2,500). The system was put in last year (2009), we took the 30% credit already.

  9. easy eco blog Says:

    I don’t think this would qualify, but ask your local dealer..

  10. Daniel Says:

    I am trying to calculate the overall cost of the solar panel system on my office/apartment building I work at. I am wondering if my building will qualify for this incentive. The building I work in is an apartment building with 120 units. Half of the units are owned (and rented) by the property owner. The other half of the building is owned by individual tenants who purchased each apartment. I understand “rentals do not qualify”, but my building seems to land in a gray area of a “rental”. Does my building qualify for this federal tax incentive? If not, why?

  11. easy eco blog Says:

    This is a complicated question that is way above my expertise and needs to be answered by a tax accountant who better understands your buildings status. You might check with the local solar firm to see if they have worked with properties such as yours.

  12. Daniel Says:

    Thank you for your timely response. Much appreciated.

  13. Nell Says:

    We are getting ready to put a solar system on our roof. We are having to replace the shingles on the area we will install the array (12 years old, 20 yr warranty) They are not going bad at this point but the installer won’t put the panels on the existing roof. Can the cost of re-roofing for solar be counted in the overall cost and thus qualify for the 30% tax credit?

  14. easy eco blog Says:

    I do not think so, that is just one of the hidden costs when installing a solar system. I did some preventative roof work for before we had ours installed also.

  15. Costco Solar Electric System Special Event - Solar Power Rebates | Easy Eco Blog Says:

    […] Professional installation is a must unless you are really gifted. This kit is eligible for the 30% Federal solar tax credit and possibly state and local utility rebates, making it a pretty good […]

  16. Gordon Gregg Says:

    I want to put solar electric panels on my vacation home in AZ that I rent out on holidays. I live in california and it seems like I dont qualify for the rebates. Any Ideas, I want to follow the laws.

  17. Mike Arias Says:

    My local power company has a $2,000 per Kw rebate, up to $20,000. If I put in a 10Kw system for $38,000, the rebate should be $20,000. But what would the tax credit be – the total cost of $38,000 or only my final cost of $18,000?

  18. easy eco blog Says:

    You need to check with your accountant, but in most cases, the rebate would be on the full amount.

  19. Mike Francolucci Says:

    I am adding an operator to my driveway gate. If I use solar vs electric, is my purchase eligible for the rebate?

  20. easy eco blog Says:

    You have the link to this device? Have you ask the dealer you are buying this from, about this?

  21. Inez Ross Says:

    How about solar tubes (skylights)do they qualify ?

  22. easy eco blog Says:

    We looked into it and they do not qualify for the solar federal tax credit.

  23. crystal Says:

    Someone else will be purchasing our small solar system for us(as a gift), will they receive the tax credit or us? We would rather they take it.

  24. easy eco blog Says:

    Check with your accountant. I’d think it is the payer.

  25. How to Make your Business Energy-Efficient | Easy Eco Blog Says:

    […] of the Federal Tax Credit for Energy efficiency and install Energy efficient items such as solar panels, windows, doors, skylights, water heaters, furnaces, boilers, pellet stoves, etc at a nice […]

  26. Green Insulation - Recycled Denim Insulation | Easy Eco Blog Says:

    […] Installation may also qualify for the Federal Tax Credit for Energy Efficiency. […]

  27. Energy Upgrade California (EUC) Rebates up to $5000 - PG&E, SCE, SDGE | Easy Eco Blog Says:

    […] sure to take advantage of the Federal Tax Credit to receive additional money back in addition to those received under Energy Upgrade California! Be […]

  28. Energy Efficient Eco Friendly Water Heater | Easy Eco Blog Says:

    […] Federal tax credits for energy efficiency are available to help reduce the cost. Many local gas utilities also have rebates. […]

  29. San Francisco Home Improvement & Performance Program - SFHip | Easy Eco Blog Says:

    […] sure to take advantage of the Federal Tax Credit too! Be Sociable, Share! TweetRelated […]

  30. New California Solar Water Heater Rebate | Easy Eco Blog Says:

    […] Local utility companies administer the rebate, so check with your local utility company. PGE has a page outlining the program that also covers San Diego Gas and Electric Rebates (SDG&E), Southern California Edison Rebates (SCE) or Southern California Gas (SoCalGas). These rebates are in addition to the Federal Tax Credit for solar water heaters. […]

  31. Conservation Messages, Motivation, and Marketing Tactics to make people Go Green | Easy Eco Blog Says:

    […] Financial incentives and saturation marketing are need to force more significant change, like the Federal Energy Tax Credit, Cash for Clunkers, or Cash for […]

  32. AEP Ohio Energy Efficiency Rebates, Appliance rebates, Utility AEP Ohio Rebates | Easy Eco Blog Says:

    […] Be sure to also take advantage of the Federal Energy Efficiency Tax Credit. This Federal tax credit can save you money in addition to your utility companies’ promotions. It applies to many items including: Wind Turbines – GeoThermal Heat Pump – Solar panels. […]

  33. Jason B. Says:

    I have a question related to the following from the message board:

    “crystal Says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 12:09 pm
    Someone else will be purchasing our small solar system for us(as a gift), will they receive the tax credit or us? We would rather they take it.
    easy eco blog Says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 4:19 pm
    Check with your accountant. I’d think it is the payer.”

    My parents need a solar system on their house, but they have a surplus of tax credits (from business losses) that would last them beyond 2016. Would I be allowed to buy the solar system for them and claim the tax credits (even though I’m not the “owner” of their house)? I figured solar lease companies can do it, why can’t I? Do you know of this working for anyone? My accountant can’t seem to answer this question, and any assistance you could provide would be great!
    Thanks, Jason.

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