What Are Solar Rebates? Everything You Need to Know


Here’s some exciting news: solar energy now costs about 90% less than it did back in 2009. Its price has dipped so low it’s now cheaper than fossil fuel-based electricity.

That shrinkage isn’t due to low-quality materials, either. On the contrary, today’s solar panels are better, more powerful, and longer-lasting.

What’s even better is that solar rebates can further reduce the cost of going solar. We’ll cover the essential facts you need to know about these programs below, so be sure to read on.

What Exactly Are Solar Rebates?

Solar rebates are cash-back programs given to people who install solar power technologies. They’re a type of retrospective payment that trims the cost of solar PV systems or devices at a later date. This sets them apart from a discount, a price reduction you can get before you pay for solar panels.

With a solar rebate, you first need to cover the total costs related to your solar panel installation. You would then get the cash rebate, usually after the completion of the system. So, you can think of these solar incentives like partial refunds.

Who Provides Solar Rebates?

Solar rebates can come from state and local government agencies and utility companies.

An example is the State of Maryland’s Residential Clean Energy Rebate Program. With this, residents of the Free State can qualify for a $1,000 rebate after installing a new solar PV panel system. There’s also a $1,000 rebate for installed solar shingles and a $500 rebate for a solar water heating system.

Another example is the GoSolarSF Program in San Francisco, California. Administered by the SF Public Utilities Commission, it offers up to $2,000 in rebates to residents. Businesses can get up to $10,000, while non-profit organizations up to $120,000 in solar rebates.

Some local utility companies also run rebates to encourage customers to go solar. An example is the $2,500 solar rebate offered by Austin Energy in Austin, TX.

Also, don’t forget that other forms of money-saving programs exist for those who wish to go solar. The biggest at the moment is the federal investment tax credit of 26%. Moreover, the folks at Blue Raven Solar say that states like Kentucky have their own tax credits, too.

What Are the Requirements to Qualify for Solar Rebates?

The exact requirements vary, but most usually require an up-and-running solar PV system. In most cases, you need to submit an application form and proof of completed installation, too. Some, like Maryland’s rebate program, also require photographs of the finished project.

You should also prepare copies of your paid invoices and receipts. You most likely need to submit these to prove that you meet the qualifying amount for the rebate.

Going Green and Clean Doesn’t Have to Cost a Fortune

As you can see, solar rebates can increase the savings you get when you switch to solar electricity. Best of all, some of these rebates may not affect the amount you can get with federal or state tax incentives. As such, be sure to explore all your solar saving options so that you can go green and clean for less.

Interested in even more eco-friendly ways to improve your home and finances? Head over to our other categories for more informative guides like this!


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