Wednesday, January 25, 2006
In previous posts, we mentioned the federal tax credit for new solar power installations. Put solar panels on your rooftop and Uncle Sam will let you take 30% of the cost -- up to $2,000 -- directly off your IRS bill. In California, the deal is sweetened considerably. Under the California Solar Initiative, the state will pony up $2.9 billion in solar incentives. According to the San Francisco Chronicle's Gregory Dicum, solar adopters could expect a $10,000 rebate on a photovoltaic investment on the order of $25,000 to $30,000. Currently, the state pays $2.80 per watt on new solar installations, with the incentive tapering to zero by 2017. But by then, your electricity will effectively be free. In the meantime, payments on a home equity loan could conceivably amount to less than your current utility bill. From a home-ec perspective, solar is starting to make good sense.