Monday, October 06, 2008
Solar Power Rebates
I'm cautiously optimistic as I learn a bit about the Federal PV rebates that were extended and expanded as part of the $700B bailout. I'll do some more research, but it appears that solar panel systems that come on-line after January 2nd will be eligible for a 30% tax credit. The old $2000 cap has been removed. A $50k investment will get about $8k in state rebates here in California and then another $12k in tax credits from the Feds!
I'm really excited to be working with Light Energy Systems now. Up until this year, the US PV market has been second fiddle, or even third or fourth fiddle, to the Asian and European markets. With this new legislation, residential PV will really take off here in the US. We could become the big dog of solar power and renewable energy generation. Can true energy independence be far behind?
PG&E just raised its rates for the higher tiers, too. Highest-consumption users will now pay over 40 cents per kWh. We used to tell homeowners that their new photovoltaic system will pay for itself in about 10 years. "Is that if PG&E rates go up, or remain constant?" we get asked, and while of course historically prices only go up in the higher tiers, we have to be somewhat conservative when making forward, speculative comments.
And, and... with the new rebate structure and the higher electricity rates, a $50k PV system could reach breakeven in as few as 5 years. It's a great time to buy a residential solar panel system right now.
Which makes it a great time to be in the business of selling PV.