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 Industry Mag, Austin is now a top 20 city for solar in the U.S. 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.
This post is the second of a blog mini-series that will explain the various net metering battles occurring across the United States. The first piece in the series covered California.
As solar power becomes cheaper and more accessible, utilities, installers, and consumer advocates are working with state public utility commissions (PUCs) across the country to secure a sustainable future for solar energy. Each group has a different idea of how to ensure “solar sustainability”: utilities are focused on the cost of maintaining the electric grid as distributed solar generation grows, while installers and consumer advocates want to make sure that net metering policies will adequately compensate solar homeowners for the power they generate. Many states are beginning the negotiation process, but one state has already reached its conclusion – in a ruling released on October 12, Hawaii became the first state in the country to eliminate net metering.
This is the first post of a blog mini-series that will explain the various net metering battles occurring across the United States. We’ve decided to start with the biggest one – California.
The battle for solar-friendly net metering policies is here, and it’s shaping up to be a big one. Most states with net metering policies “cap” the amount of total solar generating capacity that is eligible for net metering credits. As more and more states reach or even exceed these net metering “caps”, they encounter a natural opportunity to revise the policies that govern how homeowners are compensated for the excess solar electricity they create. Utilities, solar installers, and consumer advocates are all now pushing their visions of what the net metering policies of the future should look like.
The Megawatt Block Incentive Structure (Megawatt Block) is one of New York’s most important solar incentives. The program provides strong subsidies for both commercial and residential rooftop solar energy systems. The size of your subsidy depends on how big the solar energy system you install is, and how much solar energy is already being produced in your area. You also don’t need to take any action to claim the benefit if you use a state certified installer.