There are many funds available for buying either a Grid-tie or Off-grid solar electric system at the federal, state and utility level. Here are several financial incentives currently available here in the NE California area.
- For years there was a rebate available through the California PUC to offset the cost of systems installed locally for folks buying power from PG&E. Though that rebate is gone, the price of solar panels has dropped by about two-thirds, inverter prices by about one-third. Also, if Plumas Sierra REC is your power company, you will still receive a $6,000.00 rebate, plus you will NOT be assessed a higher tax value on your home with the installation of a solar electric system.
- Over the years state and federal income tax credits come and go, increase and decrease. Please visit www.dsireusa.org for an excellent, current resource for tax incentives at all levels. Until 2016, you will receive a 30% Federal income tax credit when you pay your Fed income tax. This applies to residential and commercial installations. Please always check with your tax person for detailed information for your application.
- P.G.&E. is mandated to buy the electricity you produce at the same retail rate at which they sell it to you. This is “net metering”. And, if you have a “time-of-use” meter installed, you can sell your electricity back to P.G.&E. at more than $0.30/KWhr! That’s about 2 1/2 times the basic Tier 1 rate.
- From the moment the sun first shines on your new system, your electric bill will drop. The reduction in your bill will vary based on factors such as: How large of a system is installed, how much sun you are receiving (seasonally), whether or not you had a “time-of-use” meter installed, outside air temperature, and other factors. Most systems will pay for themselves in 7-12 years, with the current incentives. After your system has paid for itself, there has never been a better definition of FREE electricity.
- In some cases, PV panels on a roof can reduce the air conditioning load on the house.
- If you do sell your home, certainly touting a low or non-existing electric bill is a desirable attribute and many studies have shown that a solar electric system increases the value of your home at the time of sale.
- A solar electric panel produces enough electricity in approximately one year to pay back the energy it took to create it. This means after that one year is over, for the next 20, 30, maybe 40 years, no carbon dioxide, no sulfur, no acid rain, no mercury, no nuclear waste, etc will be created to provide you with decades of electricity.
- And, well, politics? They’re there, but I’m not going there….you’re on your own.