NOTE: This information is possibly outdated. Please reference our incentives page for current information.
After months of speculation, the facts of the stimulus plan are here and A&R Solar has simple, straightforward answers to your question:
How does the bill affect solar?
The most beneficial part of the stimulus bill for residential customers is the removal of the $2,000 cap on incentives for solar hot water systems. Now taxpayers will receive a full 30 percent refund from Uncle Sam on the total installed cost of their system. As if the return on investment for solar hot water wasn’t fast enough, these additional incentives should really boost the demand for systems here in the Northwest and across the country.
Another major accomplishment of the bill is the creation of grants from the Treasury Department in lieu of tax credits for corporate tax filers (commercial projects). Currently, corporations must wait until next tax season before taking advantage of the federal solar incentives. By monetizing these incentives in the form of grants, companies will receive a rebate for 30 percent of the total installed costs within 60 days of the system being placed in service. These grants are only available for systems placed in service during 2009 or 2010, and I believe it will help motivate businesses to “buy now” instead of waiting for the solar industry to further mature.
The third addition directly related to solar is a new 30 percent tax credit designed to benefit manufacturers of solar energy and other “advanced energy property” manufacturers. This could lead to an increased supply of solar equipment in the marketplace, which should bring down the costs to the end-user.
There are several other components of the stimulus package relating to renewable energy and energy efficiency. However, this is a solar blog – so we will stay true to our name! For an in-depth look at how the bill affects other green areas of the economy, including green job creation, check out this article from RenewableEnergyWorld.com.