Federal Tax Incentives for solar energy going, going …

federal tax incentives for solar energy

If you’re hoping to take advantage of Federal Tax Incentives, you may want to get going on your solar energy installation. Those incentives are going away.

Those people considering the installation of a solar energy system on their home or business may want to get busy and have the system installed now. Federal tax incentives are decreasing and, for residential purposes, going away completely.

Federal solar tax credits, known as ITC, or Investment Tax Credits, have helped to increase the annual growth of solar energy systems by 52 percent since ITC was enacted as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. But 2020 saw a reduction in the size of the credit from 30 percent to 26 percent. Next year, they’ll drop to 22 percent.

The Energy Policy Act was set to expire at the end of 2007 but was extended multiple times. No such extension has occurred yet and, after falling to 22 percent in 2021, they’ll fall to 10 percent for commercial solar energy systems after that and are set to expire for residential projects after 2021.

While ITC has helped to promote the installation of solar energy systems, the program has also saved homeowners and businesses a lot of money over that period of time.

The program works by allowing a homeowner or commercial entity to claim a tax credit on their federal taxes based on the cost of installing a solar energy system. If, for instance, using the following example, the solar tax credits work this way:

  • $20,000 – cost of installing a solar energy system on the roof of a home in McHenry County
  • $5,200 – eligible tax credit based on ITC
  • $4,500 – homeowner’s tax liability for 2020 tax year
  • $700 – unused portion of tax credit, which the homeowner can roll over to the next tax year

After the 2020 tax year, however, those numbers will change. Instead of a $5,200 tax credit, the homeowner would only be eligible for a $4,400 tax credit. In 2022 and beyond, a commercial installation will allow for a $2,000 tax credit. A residential installation will provide no tax credit at all.

To be eligible for this year’s 26-percent tax credit, construction of the solar energy system must begin this year.

For those who are leasing their solar energy system, or have a PPA (Power Purchase Agreement), they are not eligible for the tax credits at all. Only the owner of the system can use the credits. This is generally true for state and local solar energy incentives, too.

Will you let those UV rays go to waste?

solar panels catch UV rays
You don’t have to let those UV rays go to waste. A solar energy system will catch them and, over time, put utility dollars back in your pocket.

Doesn’t it seem like a shame to allow all those UV rays go to waste? You don’t have to capture the UV rays for your own uses. You can rely on utility companies to provide your electricity. They’ll pump electricity into the wires of your home day and night and with only occasional power disruptions.

Of course, the utility company will follow up the electricity they send with a monthly invoice. The sun, on the other hand, doesn’t bill us for electricity. The cost comes in setting up the equipment to capture those UV rays. That’s where the difference comes to play.

The utility company will send an invoice each month for the rest of your life. A solar energy system, used to capture the UV rays, only requires payments until the equipment is paid for. From that point forward, the UV rays are as free as sunlight.

With ‘net metering’ the utility company is even required to provide homeowners with solar energy systems with an electric savings account. You’ll receive credits contributed to the electric grid on bright sunny days and you can use those credits for the utility company’s electric on days and nights when the sun isn’t shining.

Another big advantage to capturing UV rays is that it’s pollution free. It also doesn’t create spent nuclear fuel we need to bury in mountains for a 159,200 years or however long it takes until they’re safe. The UV rays will come and it’s only a question of whether you want to catch them. You can almost think of solar energy panels as a modern rain barrel for energy.

A solar energy system offers a great return on investment for Northern Illinois homeowners

There are a number of great reasons to install a solar energy system for your Northern Illinois home or office. For instance, a solar system will knock those obnoxious electrical bills down to size. Some months, you won’t have an electric bill at all. That’s not hard to take.

When you add a solar array to your home, you also do something very nice for the environment. The carbon footprint of a solar energy system is zero, zilch, nada. We can all breathe a deep sigh of relief at that thought.

A solar system does wonderful things for your Northern Illinois home’s value

Homeowners are often looking into ways to improve their homes that will increase the value of a home. Often, the return on investment is small – even miniscule. But that’s not the case with solar energy.

Consider the effect on a home’s value for the following common home improvements:

  • Remodeling a kitchen – a 2% return on investment
  • Remodeling a bathroom – a 2% return on investment
  • Revamping your landscape with a landscape designer – if you’re lucky, you’ll breakeven
  • Adding a solar energy system to your home – a 43% return on investment

Graph of the housing market

A solar energy system is a great way to cut your energy bill while adding value to your home.

Did you read that last bullet point above? It’s so incredible that it deserves another read – “Adding a solar energy system to your home (provides) a 43% return on investment. Remodeling a bathroom or kitchen is hardly worth the effort. The idea of adding a solar energy system to your Northern Illinois home, however, is so advantageous that it begs the question, “When will you start?”

According to a June 19, 2015, “The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World” article, using a $4-a-kilowatt rate for electric from the utility, a typical 5,000-kilowatt solar energy system will cost about $14,000 after the government’s 30 percent Investment Tax Credit. That improvement, however, will increase the home’s value approximately $20,000.