Incentives and Rebates

Whatever the appropriate solution is for you, making your home or business as energy efficient as possible and then using alternatives to fossil fuel, will save you money and shrink your carbon footprint substantially. Fortunately there are government programs available to help you do it.

Perhaps the largest incentive comes from the Federal Government, providing a 30% tax credit against the total cost of a solar, wind or geothermal system. A $50,000 system would only cost you $35,000 after the tax credit is factored in. In addition there are local incentive programs whose features vary from state to state. Some states, in an effort to encourage people to reduce energy dependency, offer rebates on the purchase of new high-efficiency appliances, heating units and air conditioning as well. To find out what is available in your state, go to www.dsireusa.org. Find your state on the map and click on it.

 

Examples

Pennsylvania offers a number of incentives including rebates of up to $7,500 for residential systems and $52,000 for commercial units.

Massachusetts provides a cash rebate of up to $2,000 for solar pv systems ($0.40 per watt up to 5,000 watts, eligible on projects up to 15,000 watts).

Massachusetts also provides a personal tax credit against state income taxes of up to $1,000 for solar pv systems (it can be carried forward if your taxes are too low to use it all in the first year). They also offer a solar water heating tax credit of up to $3,500.

Connecticut recently instituted a rebate program granting cash rebates of as much as $3,500 for residential solar and geothermal systems.

To find out what is available in your state, go to www.dsireusa.org, then find your state on the map and click on it.

 

Additional Benefits

Although the following may not strictly follow the definition of incentive as direct cash in your pocket, they are surely in the realm.

  1. The purchaser of an alternative energy system is not required to pay sales tax.
  2. The value of an alternative energy system cannot be used to reassess your home for property tax purposes.
  3. An alternative energy system adds value to your property. Additionally, it is possible to sell the system to a new homeowner but retain the SRECs for yourself.
  4. Once your system is fully paid for, all the energy it generates costs you virtually nothing.
  5. Last but certainly not least, you are helping to clean our air and water.