Massachusetts has always been one of the best states for solar. Not only does the Bay State have the high electricity rates that lead to a short payback period for your solar investment – it also has a history of having strong solar incentives for property owners looking to own a solar panel system.
If you’ve been researching the best solar energy incentives available in 2016, you have likely heard something about solar renewable energy credits (SRECs). SRECs are a tradable commodity that you obtain from owning a solar panel system and producing clean energy. Because of a common state requirement known as the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), utilities in 30 different states must generate a certain percentage of their energy from renewable sources, typically at least 20 percent. In six states and Washington D.C., the RPS specifies that a certain percentage of the renewable energy produced must come from solar power. States with this type of “solar carve out” are willing to pay significant amounts of money to take credit for the power generated by solar homeowners.
Rhode Island’s Renewable Energy Growth (RE Growth) Program is a performance-based incentive (PBI) offered through SolarWise Rhode Island that offers financial benefits to National Grid customers who install solar on their home. PBIs pay owners of solar energy systems for the electricity produced by their system. PBIs help system owners recover the costs of installing a solar energy system and earn an attractive return.
It often surprises people to hear that Florida, frequently referred to as “the Sunshine State,” is not the top state for solar. However, while California may hold the #1 spot for the U.S. solar market, Florida is undoubtedly one of the country’s leading states for home solar power.
SolarCity vans line up outside of their Foster City, CA headquarters. Source: Wikipedia.org
Solar adoption is skyrocketing in the United States. Partly responsible for this surging uptake is one of the oldest industry drivers: word of mouth marketing. The SolarCity Ambassador Program, EnergySage Rewards Program, and others are a big part of this growth. Continue reading →
For those asking themselves “should I go solar”, the cost of solar installation has fallen every year, and 2015 was no different. According to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, installing a residential solar energy system cost eight percent less in 2015 than in 2014, which is great news for today’s solar shoppers. But the ever-decreasing costs of solar create a conundrum: should I go solar now or wait? For many, daily headlines that declare lower and lower prices can stir them to action. For others though, these same headlines can cause them to wait a few more years in hopes of saving even more money. So who’s right?
The benefits of owning a solar energy system significantly increase when you take advantage of available rebates, tax credits and incentives. This is because these incentives will reduce your upfront installation costs, and as a result accelerate your payback period – paying less up front means breaking even more quickly. These programs can reduce the upfront costs of your system by 30 to 50 percent, but vary state-by-state as well as city-by-city. Read on to see if your city is one of the top 5 cities that incentivize solar!
The price of solar energy systems continues to drop across the country and perhaps nowhere as dramatically as Austin, Texas. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, 2015 was “the biggest year yet in solar history“! While prices continue to decline across the country, generous incentives still exist for those who purchase a system today. One of the largest is the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC offers those who install a residential solar system a 30 percent tax credit, and was recently extended by Congress. Additionally, states have their own set of incentives. Qualifying residents of Austin, Texas can apply the Austin Energy Rebate to the cost of installing a system, and then benefit from monthly saving with the Value of Solar Tariff.
The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a generous incentive from the federal government. It was put in place to encourage uptake of solar energy and other renewable energy systems in 2006. It has been tremendously successful in this goal: the number of solar installations in the US has increased 1,600% since the ITC was introduced.
Many EnergySage customers quickly understand the potential benefits of the ITC, but have questions when it comes to the particulars of how it operates. Frequently, we field questions about whether or not they can claim the ITC at all, and when and how it can be applied to their tax bills. Continue reading →