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Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Federal Tax Credit Set to Expire

By GET staff

The federal solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) will expire at the end of next year. We must emphasize strongly one thing about this. The fact that there are about sixteen months left before it expires does not mean that there is any time to delay on getting an installation. Anyone who wants to take advantage of the solar ITC really must act right now.

The solar ITC is a reduction in taxes for anyone who installs solar photostatic systems or certain other kinds of solar collectors. The reduction is equal to 30% of eligible solar installation costs, up to the amount owed in taxes. This means that installation of a $10,000 system can reduce taxes by $3,000, for anyone who would owe taxes of that much or more.

It is very important to note, however, that the system must be installed and operating by the end of next year. Some of the solar installers in the Northeast are already booked for installations into next year, and any appreciable delay signing up for a system could make it impossible to get it installed in time to take advantage of the ITC.

Some people would really like to install a solar system, but cannot take advantage of the ITC. There are solutions to that problem. The system can be paid for by an investor who gets the credit, and then transferred, at a specified time, to the person using the power. Peter Thurrell, who heads up Soveren Solar, in Putney, Vermont, explains, “We can give a discount of a dollar per watt from the cost. This is possible because Soveren Solar takes the tax credit.” The customer leases the panels, and at the end of the lease period, the company gifts them to the customer. Other solar installers or investors may have similar programs.

Another important point is that the ITC can be renewed by congress. There is some mounting pressure not to renew them, given declining costs of solar power and the political disposition of congress.

Please remember that climate change is not slowing down. If we do not make a switch away from fossil fuels, we will have greater problems. Please support those in congress who support renewable power and energy efficiency.

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