Modern technology has improved our lives in different aspects but with constant advancement comes the need for new resources of energy. Our natural energy resources are not going to last forever and if we want a brighter future for the coming generations, we need something that is continuously replenished. This is where solar energy comes in – a clean and sustainable source of energy.
How can we generate electricity from the light of the sun? We need solar panels. These are devices used to absorb the sun’s rays and convert them into electricity. There are other renewable energy resources you may choose from but opting for solar energy yields solar incentives which you could take advantage of.
People usually opt for something accessible and affordable, and they love it more when it comes with something extra. Thus, the government offers solar incentives to boost the expansion of solar use for everyone. How does this work? When you install solar panels, you will get incentives in return. Here are some solar incentives that you can get:
- The Federal Solar Tax Credit
First, among these solar incentives is the Federal Solar Tax Credit is also known as “investment tax credit” or simply “solar tax credit” which reduces 26 percent (in 2021) of the cost of installation by paying off using your federal taxes. Not only homeowners but also commercial building owners qualify to apply for this program. However, it is also important to note that as the years progress, the policy changes, and its rate decreases. Therefore, now is the best time to sign up for solar energy if you do not want to miss out on the opportunity to reap this benefit.
- Net Metering Program
Another solar incentive that you can have is from the Net Metering Program where you will get bill credits for every Kilowatt-hour of excess solar electricity you send to the grid. That credit can then be used to counterbalance any energy you take from the grid thereafter. With this, you can save dollars on the cost of your electricity and even up to the point of it being free when your system produces enough solar energy.
- Performance-Based Incentives (PBI)
One common type of Performance-based incentives (PBI) is the Renewable Market-Adjusting Tariff (Re-MAT). This solar incentive is also known as Renewable Feed-In Tariff (FIT) or The Solar Feed-In Tariff. Re-Mat is often confused with Net Metering. Although both programs are used to compensate consumers for the energy they produce, the major difference with this program is you will get monetary credit for every kilowatt-hour your system produces instead of just a kilowatt-hour’s worth of credit.
- Local Solar Rebates
This is a one-time solar incentive given to homeowners once they install solar panels. It works exactly as rebates for other types of purchases. After buying the solar panels for your system, you will receive cashback. Distribution of cash rebates is done through the local area of authority. The amount varies for each city or country and some offer local rebates while others do not. However, this type of incentive is becoming rare due to solar becoming cheaper.
- Solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs)
Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) certify that you own one megawatt-hour of electricity generated from a renewable energy resource such as solar energy. How is this a solar incentive? You can sell this certificate to Utility companies. They purchase these certificates to meet some governmental regulations. You can also sell them through an SREC aggregator. The price varies among different States.
- The SASH Program
The single-family affordable solar homes (SASH) program in California is an initiative of a non-profit organization called Grid Alternatives. They provide training and employment opportunities to qualifying single-family homeowners in low-income households for them to have access to solar technology.
- The MASH Program
The multi-family affordable solar homes (MASH) program enables those who own a multi-tenant housing complex in San Jose California. It provides incentives to compensate for the cost of installing solar panels which helps to enhance the overall quality of each dwelling through energy efficiency.
- Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)
You can benefit from this if you choose to install a battery storage system from PG&E, SCE, Southern California Gas, or SDG&E. Less than a 10-kilowatt battery storage system in your residential property is qualified for an incentive of $0.25 per Watt-hour of that storage set up.
Anywhere you are, you can always find some solar incentives to take advantage of. However, each state and region could have various and unique incentives. One could have all of those mentioned above or an entirely different one. Hence, it is important to check with your local government first on which incentives they offer to their residents. In addition, some incentives require some qualifications before you can take advantage of them.
It is such a warm feeling to receive something free from the government once you start using solar power, but we all know this is not going to last long. Solar incentives are there to encourage people to go solar but as more people adapt to these changes, benefits and incentives will also decrease progressively. Then, there is no better time to start choosing the best solar panels that you will use for your household than now, while you could still take advantage of these solar incentives.
This article focuses solely on the solar incentives which help you to reduce the installation cost and electric bills, earn a return of investments, increase the quality of each household, as well as help other peoples’ engagement in the community. Think of all of that, and then think more of how much you are helping our environment by reducing carbon footprint. Additionally, you are also showing commitment to sustainability and fulfilling your social responsibility quite well. Furthermore, going solar is a better way to go ahead or even just to keep up in this competitive world that we live in. Nevertheless, it is a win-win situation whichever way you look at it.