The first is that the federal tax credit that was set to expire at the end of 2016 was just extended for five more years. I’ve heard VERY little mention of this in the news so I’m guessing this will be news to most of you. I’m still hearing some ads for solar that tell you to “hurry up” before the federal tax credit expires, but I’m sure they’ll update their ads soon. (FYI: The California tax credit is long gone.)
Here is a quote from a website called The Simple Dollar, “The extension means a 30% federal tax credit offered by the EPA and Department of Energy to encourage Americans to use solar power for the next five years. If you install Energy Star-approved solar power systems, the credit allows you to claim 30% of the cost as a tax credit for the year you installed it. That amount is taken directly off your tax payment, rather than as a deduction from your taxable income.”
The other item is that you can now buy solar power through PG&E. You can choose to have either 50 or 100% of your power come from solar. The catch is that you aren’t saving money with this program, but the argument is that it’s better for the environment. There are no panels required, nothing to buy, no long-term leases to sign, etc. So this may be a good option for people or businesses who are renting, or their building doesn’t allow for a good solar system installation due to the size or direction of the roof, but you still want to go solar for environmental reasons. You can find out more at pge.com/solarchoice.
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