What You Need to Know About Federal Solar Tax Incentives

Take advantage of federal solar tax incentives now.

A lot of homeowners have hesitated about installing solar panels because of the cost.  But, in addition to many state incentives to go solar, there are federal tax incentives that make this energy-saving technology a better purchase right now.  As has been the case with past energy-related tax programs, many of these incentives will be phasing out in the near future.

Here are two things Apex Solar Solutions wants you to know about tax incentives that are in place for homes or businesses now:

  1. Federal tax form 5965 explains the specifics, but essentially, you can receive a 30 percent tax credit for the costs of your solar installation.  This is called the Investment Tax Credit (ITC).  (Beware:  This credit only lasts through 2019, and will begin to reduce after that date.  In 2020, it will go down to 26 percent, in 2021 to 22 percent, and 2022 and onward, the credit will go away completely for residential users, but will be 10 percent for commercial users.)  Keep in mind that a tax credit is different from a tax deduction.  A deduction lowers your taxable income, while a credit actually lowers your tax bill.
  2. Some states also offer solar tax credits.  Naturally, these credits vary in amount from state to state, but in some places, this credit could be as high as 25 percent.  This means that if you combine your federal and state tax credit, your total tax credit could be close to 50 percent or higher (keep in mind that the state credit will reduce your federal income tax deduction slightly).  The best way to learn your unique opportunity with tax credits is to check with your accountant.

What Impact will President Trump Have on Solar Energy?

As President Donald Trump talks about protecting the United States’ coal industry and is walking away from the Paris Agreement on climate change, many journalists and observers are asking about the future of solar energy.  According to Newsweek journalist Kevin Maney in an article published on June 10, 2017, “Solar technology will destroy coal and oil as energy sources even if President Donald Trump stamps his feet, holds his breath and refuses to play with the rest of the world.”

Maney also noted that “Protecting coal jobs today makes as much sense as protecting typing pool jobs around the time personal computers caught on in the 1980s.”

A June 2, 2017 news story that aired on NPR noted, “Coal production reached a 30-year low in 2015, and the number of U.S. coal miners fell from 90,000 in 2012 to 50,000 in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of U.S. coal mines dropped from 1,831 in 2006 to 1,159 in 2015, according to the Energy Information Administration.”  (To put this in perspective, in 2013, Disneyworld in Florida employed 62,000 people.)

With all the advancements in creating solar panels and making them more efficient, the cost of producing solar energy in certain places actually became cheaper in 2016 than producing electricity by burning coal, Maney reported.

The Newsweek article pointed out that solar energy is clean and pretty much in endless supply since the sun won’t die for about 5 billion years.  It reports that about five days of sunlight provide as much energy as the earth’s reserves of oil, coal and natural gas.

Finally, Maney concludes that technology and raw economics—and not U.S. government policy or treaties—will soon make carbon replaceable.  He points to the fact that on some days, California already gets 80 percent of its power from clean energy sources.

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Brielle’s Story: Apex Solar Solutions Partners with Children and the Earth

“Today, we are truly humbled by a generous gift given to us by Apex Solar Solutions through Children and the Earth.”

“By the end of the day, we’ll have solar panels installed on our home completely free of any cost to us! As I type these words I almost can’t believe it myself!”

Candace Burr, and her husband Ryan, are the parents of three children, including Brielle (2 years old) who was born with Beare Stevenson syndrome, an extremely rare disorder that causes the premature fusion of the skull.

This condition results in brain and breathing issues that affect the overall growth of her body, making her dependent upon a ventilator, oxygen and gastrostomy tube every day.

Brielle is one of about 30 people worldwide to be diagnosed with Beare Stevenson syndrome.

In an effort to help others, Apex Solar Solutions has been partnering with the nonprofit organization, Children and the Earth, which assists children faced with life threatening, and sometimes terminal illness.

The goal: install a custom-designed solar system for a very worthy family.

As you can imagine, the Burrs’ medical bills and monthly energy expenses that support Brielle are higher than average, so any savings on their power bill will be greatly appreciated.

The value of the system weighs in at approximately $40,000, and will be installed at no cost to the family of five that’s been facing some difficult challenges for the past couple of years.

“This is such a tremendous blessing to our family and we cannot begin to adequately express how much it means to us,” Candace added.

“The thing that really gets me though, is how much Apex Solar Solutions has thanked us for giving them the opportunity to do this. Them thanking us!? This company and the people who work for them are truly amazing. They tell us that we are just the first ones to receive such an amazing gift from them and that they look forward to helping many others in the near future in situations similar to ours.”

Joan, CFO of Apex Solar Solutions, said that, “With the new system the Burrs will be able to generate nearly 97 percent of their energy from solar. In its first year, the system will reduce the 2,900-square-foot home’s utility costs from $1,660 to $120.”

“This system will produce a 25-year savings of roughly $69,374.  This is like putting $231 in the Burrs’ pocket every month for the next 25 years.”

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Deciding if Solar Is The Right Move For You.

Is solar energy for you?  As Americans become more environmentally conscious, many households and businesses are converting to, or at least considering, solar power.

At Apex Solar Solutions, we want to educate the public about the many advantages of solar—and, debunk many of the myths surrounding this amazing technology.

One of the most common questions we’re asked is, “Is this really the best time to invest in a solar system?”  According to Ethan Zindler, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, “If you’re a consumer who’s been thinking about putting solar on your roof, now it’s cheaper than it’s ever been.  You used to look at a system that would cost $30,000, and it may cost as little as $10,000 to $15,000 now.”

Plus, even though solar-panel efficiency is always improving, the potential gains of future panels probably amount to a few percentage points at best.  Generally speaking, solar technology is similar to what it was in the 1960s—today, it’s just more efficient and less expensive.  What’s more, energy rates have been rising at about 7.2 percent each year on average. Who knows how much they will continue to increase?  When your home or business is being powered by the sun, you won’t be affected by rising rates.

In terms of return on investment, and depending on your system and location, solar panels pay for themselves within six to 15 years.  If you add in state and federal tax credits and incentives, you could actually begin seeing a return on investment within two to four years.  Real estate experts also note that solar panels increase the value of a home by about $15,000, so even if you don’t plan on being your home for the next 15 years, this could still be a sound investment.