Top 5 Reasons to Go Solar in 2019

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The year may have just barely begun, but that’s no reason to put off the things that could make 2019 a stellar year. We put together our list of “Top 5 Reasons to Go Solar in 2019” because today is always the best day to plan for your future.

1.    2019 is the last year for the full 30% federal income tax credit

Starting in 2020, the tax credit will reduce to 26%.  In 2021, it is down to 22%. From there, it will continue to decrease until it is fully phased out. It is reasonable to expect that solar installation prices will not fall as quickly as the tax credit, so 2019 may be a homeowner’s best chance to optimize their financial return on solar.

2.    Utility rates continued to rise from 2018 to 2019

The US national average for electricity rose from January 2018 to late 2018. This means that in 2019, the return on a solar investment is more attractive, the payback period is shorter, and if you install this year, you can offset more future costs.

3.    The price of a solar installation in Florida fell in 2018

According to Solar Power World Online, the average price of a residential solar installation in the US fell in 2018 by almost 6%.  That can amount to meaningful savings for a household seeking to invest in solar in 2019!

4.    Having a solar PV system contributes to household financial stability 

For households that pay cash for a system, there is an immediate reduction in their monthly expenses through a reduction in energy bills.  For households that choose to finance their system, they are trading a volatile monthly payment for a fixed monthly payment over the life of the loan. Of course, once the loan is paid off, the real savings begin rolling in!

5.    Investing in Florida helps the local economy and long-term health of the State

Optimus Solar has written about the compounding power of producing electricity locally vs. importing it from out of State.  Furthermore, using Florida-based solar installers, and Florida-manufactured solar panels compounds the local positive impacts and leads to a multiplier of positive economic activity.

There you have it! This Top 5 list is pretty convincing, but if you need more info or want to chat about what a solar PV system could do for your home this year, give us a call! 352-535-0227

How Do Federal Income Tax Credits Work for Solar?

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Many people are aware of the federal tax credit available to homeowners who improve their property by installing solar PV (photovoltaic) systems.  While this is a popular incentive, it is important to understand the details to ensure full benefit is received.

The following questions and answers outline some details regarding the federal tax credit.*

1.    How much is the tax credit?

30% of total system cost with no limit on maximum expenditure.  (This decreases to 26% for 2020 and 22% for 2021.)

2.    How can I claim the tax credit?

Since this is a credit and not a rebate, the owner of the system must have a tax liability to off-set against this credit.  However, if the owner’s liability is not as large as the credit, the credit can be carried over to the subsequent year.

3.    Do I have to own and reside in the home to qualify for the tax credit?

Yes, the system must be installed on a residence you own and use for living, but second homes qualify for a portion of the credit.  (Rental properties do not qualify.)

4.    How do I apply for the credit?

Tax Form 5695 applies to renewable energy tax credits.  This form is available online HERE. The IRS has some helpful information available HERE. Your tax advisor or CPA can provide more specific information.

5.    Do battery systems tied to a PV system qualify for the tax credit?

Yes, battery storage systems associated with solar PV installations qualify for the full 30% tax credit with no maximum limitation.

6.    Does Florida have any specific incentives in addition to the federal tax credit?

No direct consumer credit exists in Florida; however, all solar-related materials are free of state sales tax.  This savings should ideally be passed on to the consumer.

*This article is offered for information purposes only.  Information contained herein should not be construed as tax advice. Optimus Solar is not able to offer tax advice; those seeking specific tax guidance should consult a qualified CPA.