The federal Incentive Tax Credit for purchasing solar energy systems is scheduled to expire in only 15 months. But homeowners who aren’t able to take advantage of that 30 percent savings on the cost of installing a photovoltaic system still can go solar and save big money now. So there’s no reason to put off the switch to clean, renewable energy.
For many people, gaining access to solar generated electricity can cost as little as $0 down. A good credit score is all you’ll need to have a PV system installed on your home immediately, and flexible payment terms allow you to pay off the costs over time.
Leasing options from RGS Energy
Leasing a system from RGS Energy, the original solar energy company, enables you to have a system installed with no upfront installation costs, just the immediate reduction of your electric bill once the system is turned on. When you lease through RGS, there also are no maintenance costs. RGS will maintain your system for the term of the lease. And you will have a consistent monthly lease payment that will enable you to budget accurately. Leasing is available only in New York and California.
A variation on leasing that is available in other states is a Power Purchase Agreement. A PPA gives homeowners a low, fixed rate on electricity for 20 years. RGS Energy will pay for, install, and maintain a solar system at your home and you’ll simply buy the power produced from it each month. You’ll have a low, predictable monthly electric bill and RGS will take complete care of the system.
A reliable electric bill for 20 years frees you from the ups and downs of utility rate fluctuations, and you and your household or business will reduce your carbon impact on the community around you.
Purchasing with financing
To take advantage of federal and state incentives without having to pay the full cost of installing a solar energy system up front, you can finance your purchase. All that’s required is that you work with an RGS lending partner or that you secure a home equity loan or line of credit through the bank of your choice.
Terms of loans for solar installation purposes are often better than other loans because solar electricity generation and its correlative reduction of greenhouse gases are so highly valued in every community. Depending on your credit score, you could qualify for a zero-down loan.
Purchasing a system typically provides the best long-term savings and has the highest upfront costs. You’ll own the solar panels, the power they produce, and the rebates and incentives they qualify for. The Federal Incentive Tax Credit, available in all 50 states, allows purchasers to take a tax credit off their tax return for 30 percent of the initial costs of their solar energy system. Some state governments are also offering rebates — money back — off purchase prices for PV systems. Other state-initiated incentives might include sales or property tax exemptions. Many of the state incentives may also be available for homeowners who lease or choose a PPA.
State options and incentives
RGS Energy got its start in 1978 as Real Goods, a sustainable living store in Northern California that sold some of the first retail solar panels in the United States. The Real Goods store is still around, and RGS today provides solar services in much of California, from Mendocino County through the San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley, Fresno and the Central Valley, and south to the Los Angeles Basin and Inland Empire.
California is one of the states where RGS offers leases and Power Purchase Agreements.
The state’s aggressive Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) mandates 33 percent of the state’s electricity must come from renewable energy sources by 2020. To reach this goal, California is offering incentives including:
• Property tax exemptions.
• Additional local rebates.
Like California, New York is one of the states where RGS offers leases and Power Purchase Agreements, in addition to standard purchasing options. The state offers a 25 percent personal tax credit and an NYSERDA incentive for the purchase of a PV system. Many local utilities have rebates available, and there are sales and property tax exemptions, as well.
New Jersey homeowners can take advantage of RGS’s Power Purchase Agreements, and those who prefer to own they systems will receive help in identifying financing. The state provides sales and property tax exemptions to solar households.
RGS offers Power Purchase Agreements in Connecticut and will work with homeowners who prefer to purchase their systems to find financing. The Connecticut Green Bank offers incentives and low-cost financing to help homeowners and businesses convert to solar energy. Some municipalities and utilities also offer rebates or sales and property tax exemptions.
In Massachusetts, one of the country’s strongest solar states, RGS offers Power Purchase Agreements and works with homeowners to find financing options to make purchasing easier. Massachusetts offers the Commonwealth Solar I Rebate, along with other local and utility rebates. There are also Solar Renewable Energy Credits and sales and property tax exemptions.
In Colorado, RGS offers only purchased systems, but it can help homeowners find financing options. Incentives in the state include performance-based rebates for Xcel and Black Hills Energy customers. Other utilities and municipalities also offer rebates or sales and property tax exemptions.
RGS has purchase options for solar energy systems in Missouri. Some municipalities offer property tax exemptions and some utilities have rebate programs for solar installations.
In New Hampshire, one of the five New England Solar Power Partners, RGS Energy offers purchase options only. The state has a renewable energy rebate and provides some property tax exemptions for solar PV systems.
RGS Energy offers purchase options only in Rhode Island. But with both sales and property tax exemptions, this state encourages solar power investments.
In Vermont, where RGS offers solar purchase options, the Vermont State Employee Credit Union has set up solar loans. Another New England Solar Power partner, Vermont offers a state rebate program, plus sales and property tax exemptions.
RGS is your solar electric power company
Operating in all 10 states listed above, RGS has more than 30 years of solar industry experience. Visit RGSEnergy.com today to learn about your options and to request an installation estimate.