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The Time is Right For Residential Solar Enegy

Posted by Sharon Rosshirt on Friday, April 13th, 2018 at 10:30pm.

The City of Austin is no stranger to energy efficiency innovation. In fact, the sustainability program run by the local utility company, Austin Energy, became a model for the creation of the national Energy Star program back in 1992. Austin Energy's mission - to safely deliver clean, affordable, reliable energy and excellent customer service - has been rewarded yet again as the winners of the 2018 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award.

Austin Energy, the City of Austin’s electric utility, is proud to announce that it received the 2018 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award for continued leadership and superior contributions to ENERGY STAR. Austin Energy’s accomplishments will be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on April 20, 2018.

"Austin Energy is customer driven and community focused. This important national award is a testament to the commitment of customers, local contractors, and our employees," said Debbie Kimberly, Austin Energy Vice President of Customer Energy Solutions. "As a community-owned utility, we are passionate about keeping costs low for customers, and protecting  the environment. This program accomplishes both of those objectives."

Now they want to help their customers take advantage of the newly reinstated property tax incentives as laid out in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. Consumers can claim a tax credit of up to 30% of the cost of materials and installation. Systems in place by December 31, 2019,  will receive the full 30% tax credit but the benefits begin to scale down as time goes by.

 2017 Renewable Energy Tax Credits

Under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, the renewable energy tax credits for fuel cells, small wind turbines, and geothermal heat pumps now feature a gradual step down in the credit value, the same as those for solar energy systems. 

Tax Credit: 

  • 30% for systems placed in service by 12/31/2019
  • 26% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2019 and before 01/01/2021
  • 22% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2020 and before 01/01/2022

Expires:  December 31, 2021

Details:  Existing homes and new construction qualify.  Both principal residences and second homes qualify. Rentals do not qualify. 

The average solar array can cost around $10,000-15,000 for 6kW after the tax credits and the benefits begin to quickly add up. Customers typically see an immediate reduction to the cost of their utility bill per month by offsetting their metered use with solar credits. Not only are Americans nationwide encouraged financially and socially to take advantage of these incentives, they have the knowledge that they've done something, even if it's only on a single home, to help maintain our environment and contribute to the better health and happiness of all.

For more informatiion on Energy Star incentives, please visit https://www.energystar.gov/about/federal_tax_credits/2017_renewable_energy_tax_credits . For more information about Austin Energy's approved contractors and assistance program, please visit their site at https://austinenergy.com/ae/green-power/solar-solutions/for-your-home/solar-photovoltaic-rebates-incentives .

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