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Why Choose Solar Now?

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Why Choose Solar Now?
Incentives, Tax Breaks, and Rebates

More Hill Country residents are becoming familiar with rooftop solar power systems. Clean, quiet, and increasingly efficient solar photovoltaic power systems are becoming a practical renewable energy solution for homes and businesses. A typical system today consists of an array of rooftop solar panels and a high efficiency inverter for interconnection and co-generation with the electric grid. Solar energy has been a renewable energy option for many years, but why choose solar now?

Many people are interested in renewable energy due to recent energy price volatility and an increased awareness of climate change issues that are impacting our energy consumption practices already. Consciousness of the environment and interest in sustainable practices have resulted in numerous policy changes that are driving solar photo-voltaic (PV) power system adoption in Texas.

Leadership from the new administration is evident in The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that extends many consumer tax incentives from the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 further expands these policies and amended energy tax incentives for business, utilities, and even government entities.
The State of Texas has responded with renewable energy property tax exemptions and some other statewide programs designed to encourage solar investment. The renewable energy system property tax exemption is a significant program achievement and rewards investment by protecting solar power generators from recurring taxes.

One of the most important factors in solar energy adoption has been producer rebates from local electric service providers. A typical residential installation may cost $7.00 per watt before rebates or credits. Electric providers offer customers a per watt solar producer rebates to encourage renewable energy and meet renewable production goals; the reason electric customers are only paid a solar power generation rebate for an interconnected (grid-tied) solar system. These rebates are one of the primary underlying motivators for Austin Energy customers and have been adopted and expanded Texas wide for Oncor customers and San Antonio area CPS Energy customers. The final incentive is the 30% Federal tax credit on the remaining balance for systems and installation costs.

In general solar producer rebate rates vary across Texas but are becoming widely available for most customers due to a groundswell of interest in renewable energy. One of the most notable examples of the public commitment to renewable energy is the City of San Antonio's major solar power initiative that seeks to offset expanded electric generation needs from coal-fired power plants with clean efficient solar. Strong financial incentives in the form of rebates and efficiency programs form a two-part strategy to help meet long-term electric needs for a major US city.

In these uncertain times, a perfect combination of factors are making renewable energy a sound choice for homeowners and business seeking to manage the costs and consequences of energy choices for every Texan. The lowest costs ever in solar equipment and strong policy measures make solar a wise investment and a good hedge on potential energy inflation costs. Given the long lasting performance of modern solar arrays, a reasonable return on investment can be expected over the lifetime of a solar PV system with little maintenance required. The solid promise of a modest return on investment for our customers is what the Texas solar industry is banking on for years to come.

Hill Country Solar * TECL #28668  *   Phone: (512) 924-5525