Moving Forward involves selecting one of the EV / PV / Smart Home configurations… understanding how it works, what value you can expect to gain and then understanding your role in the process going forward. This could include;
We will take care of the paperwork relating to incentives, permitting and financing. We will collect the needed information at which point you are good to go. This includes providing partially completed federal and state tax forms… as with any tax matter, please consult competent tax advice before filing your return.
There are a variety of Solar PV incentives offered at the Federal and State levels and sometimes there are local or utility incentive programs as well. Although these can be quite volatile, we keep abreast of these developments and incorporate them into your proposal.
A typical set of incentives for a residential PV installation in Pennsylvania will include;
- Federal tax credit of 30% of the installed cost… fill out form 5695 and claim your credit.
- PA has a Sunshine Solar Rebate Program that recently had an infusion of money that offers $0.75/watt up to $7500 (10kW) or 35% of the installed cost. The money is on a first come first serve basis and it’s not clear how many waiting applicants are in line. Consequently, we try to build our economic case on just the Federal credit to be safe.
- PA also has Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) that accrue for each megawatt (MW) of Solar electric production. Currently the SREC market in PA is relatively low (around $20/MW and has been for a while) so, again, we try to make our economic case without these incentives.
For those who feel more comfortable doing their own homework, the “GoTo” place for current information on incentives can be found at;
DSIRE Database of Renewable Energy Incentives
There are a number of Solar financing options available including;
- Solar Purchase
- Solar Loan
- Solar Lease
- Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)
Solar Purchase – Customers who purchase their Solar system outright, see the investment value of their system and want to receive the full benefit of all incentives as well as the avoided electric utility costs. They are motivated by the economics and have, or can get, the capital required. FYI… if you can’t take advantage of the full credit in the first tax year, it can be carried over up until it expires in 2016. The jury is still out on carryovers at this point.
Solar Loan – What if you have assets but don’t want to or can’t touch them… there is the Solar Loan. This financing option is a special form of home equity loan for a Solar system. You still get to claim all of the incentives… but you are “drawing the funds” from your home, not from your retirement fund. Some offerings in this category, such as our offering from Admirals Bank, make funds available even if you don’t have a lot of equity in your home.
Solar Lease – What if you have more cash flow than assets and have little or no ability to take advantage of the tax credits… there is the Solar Lease. The Solar Lease provider pays for the system and even monitors and maintains it in exchange for a predictable monthly lease payment which is often less that the utility costs it offsets.
Under this model, the lease provider, not the residential homeowner, receives all rebates, tax credits and depreciation. At the end of the term, homeowners have three options: renew the lease, purchase the system at fair market value or have the system removed at no cost.
Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) – Under this model, you pay for the Solar power produced. The PPA provider pays for the system, monitors and maintains it, as with the Solar Lease, but instead of a fixed monthly lease payment, you pay for the variable Solar power produced… typically less than the utility power it displaced.
At Energy Conscious, we promote the Solar purchase and Solar Loan options as we want the customer to receive the maximum benefits from their system.
There are a number of administrative tasks that we will handle for you from the required building permits to the utility interconnect agreements. We also include links to selected Federal Tax forms;
Solar System – Get 30% of the installed system cost back using this federal tax form
Electric Vehicle Credit – Get up to $7500 back on your EV purchase… for the first 200,000 of your brand of electric vehicle. Find out more at Plug In Electric Vehicle Credits. A bit more in depth discussion of some gotchas are available at the Edmunds EV Tax Guide
Electric Vehicle Home Charger – Get 30% of the installed cost of the charger up to $1000 using this federal tax form
Discussion of the solar options for those who are not a good candidate for solar on their roof or property.