The price of carbon-based fuels like crude oil, coal, and gas oil continue going up, straining budgets. Savings achieved by switching to solar energy continue increasing as a result. Moreover, governments are assisting people to make the switch to solar. They have introduced a range of measures to improve solar affordability and incentives and in that way encourage the switch to solar. The move is also a positive for a cleaner, greener environment. Finally, it can assist national security because it reduces dependence on oil imports.
Both national and state governments extend incentives. The range of national and state government incentives is very large. In the USA, they include personal tax exemptions, corporate tax exemptions, sales tax exemptions for renewable investments, property tax exemptions, buy-down programs, loan programs and grants as well as industrial recruitment incentives.
At the federal level, the 2005 Energy Bill was a benchmark law that introduced significant incentives. It introduced a residential 30 percent energy credit for selected solar products for two years capped at a maximum of two thousand dollars. At the regional level, Sunbelt states like Texas, California and Florida are among the leaders in offering incentives.
A specific case example may be helpful. A Floridian homeowner that installs around approved solar energy products valued fifty or sixty thousand dollars can expect to receive government-funded incentives totaling more than fifteen thousand dollars. The exact amount depends on the specific products purchased. Federal government provides tax credits for purchase of solar electricity (photovoltaic) systems plus water heaters. Several states, Florida being one, provides tax credits rebates for purchase of solar water heaters plus pool heaters. Policies vary across states.
Subsidized finance is also provided. Green loans at government subsidized rates are available to support purchase of solar products. Fannie Mae allows home owners to roll-up the purchase price into their home mortgage loan. This allows the homeowner to finance the purchase at a home mortgage interest rate rather than a higher interest rate applying, for example, to a personal loan.
Photovoltaic systems that have back-up storage in a battery bank have the advantage of being able to maintain electricity supply to a household even when there is an outage on the public grid. Solar pool water heaters can supply up to 100 percent of the heating needs for many family pools, significantly extending their swimming season.
In summary, the switch to solar energy products is firmly underway by homes and businesses alike. Solar affordability and incentives offered by national and state governments assist the switch. The environment is better for it.