The top two reasons people purchase a home photovoltaic (PV) system are to use clean energy and to save money. However, many people are perplexed by how spending thousands of dollars now will save them money in the long run. If you’re considering installing a PV system on your home, here’s why sooner is better than later for moving forward on that decision.
Federal purchase incentive
The Incentive Tax Credit issued by the federal government reduces your purchase cost by 30 percent. It is only available until December 31, 2016, after which it drops to 10 percent. It is unknown if the 30 percent incentive level will be renewed after next year, which means now is a good time to get involved in the ITC discussion with your local senator or congressional representative.
State purchase incentive
For homeowners whose systems are 10 kilowatts (kW) or smaller, New Hampshire offers a rebate of $.50 per watt of panel, up to $2,500. To qualify for the incentive, homeowners must apply for approval, and then request the incentive when the system is installed. For assistance, you can contact Jon Osgood at the NH PUC, or your local RGS Energy coordinator.
State ongoing tax savings
Many of New Hampshire’s municipalities offer property tax exemptions for the installation of PV systems. Although they vary in their terms — some are capped at an upper value; others are set by the value of the purchase price or assessed values — each offers long-term savings for using PV power instead of grid power.
State net metering
New Hampshire encourages small PV systems to contribute power to the utility grid, a process known as “distributed generation.” The installed electric meter will run forward when the home is using grid power but run backward when using PV power. PV power reduces the amount of grid power used, which reduces the homeowner’s electric bill. When the PV system produces more power than it uses, the excess is sold back to the grid for use by others. Each utility establishes its compensation values to its customers.
Popularity breeds familiarity
As PV systems have become more popular, many of New Hampshire’s financial institutions have established special terms and rates for financing the systems. They are invested in clean energy just like the rest of New Hampshire’s residents. A proposed estimated value of the cost of installation will help your lender craft the best deal available for you. Since RGS Energy and some other installers have relationships with certain lenders, you can find helpful information about financing your purchase from them too.
To find out what options are available for your New Hampshire home, visit www.rgsenergy.com.