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PV Tax and Rebate Guide

Getting some green for going green

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

Taxpayers may claim a credit of 30 percent of net qualified expenditures, after state rebates, for residential solar, wind, geothermal or fuel-cell-based systems. Systems put on line before January, 2009, are subject to a $2,000 cap.

Commonwealth Solar Rebates

Commonwealth Solar, a program launched in 2008 by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, offers rebates on the installation of photovoltaic projects. Residential, commercial, industrial, institutional and public facilities are eligible. For residential projects, the rebate is capped at 5 kw or $20,000.

Rebates are calculated as follows:

—Base incentive: $1.00/watt

—Adder for Massachusetts company
components: $0.15/watt

—Adder for moderate home value: $2.00/watt

—Adder for moderate income: $1.25/watt

The ideal residential applicant—a middle-class owner of a modest home who purchases home-grown components—would be reimbursed as much as $4.40 per watt. A 3kW (kilowatt) system, then, would receive a rebate of $13,200 and a 4 kW system $17,600.

The Commonwealth Solar rebates are only applicable to grid-tied projects. System installers are responsible for securing permits and walking applicants through the rebate process. The program recommends that contractors be certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), and insists that installers at least be licensed and insured electricians.

Residential Renewable Energy Income Tax Credit

Massachusetts allows a 15 percent credit, up to $1,000, against the state income tax for the purchase and installation of a renewable energy system installed on an individual's primary residence.

Property Tax Exemption

In Massachusetts, the value added to a property by solar or wind systems is exempt from local taxes for a 20-year period.

Sales Tax Exemption

The purchase of equipment directly relating to any solar, wind-powered, or heat pump system for a principal residence is exempt from sales tax in the Commonwealth.

 

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