New Solar Energy Users and the 30% Tax Credit

New Solar Energy Tax Credit 

Americans love a good bargain, and the federal government offers a handsome one for those who invest in a solar energy system for their homes. The Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit is a tax credit for consumers to offset the costs of purchasing and installing alternative energy devices in their homes. At present, this credit is available to taxpayers through 2016. It is applicable for 30 percent of the total purchase and installation cost of qualifying photovoltaic equipment.

A typical home in the United States uses nearly half of the energy it produces for heating and cooling the home, more than is spent on all other energy expenses for the residence. Find a way to cut these costs to make this work in your favor.


What is Covered

Installing a solar energy system with panels on either a new-build or pre-existing residence qualifies the consumer for the full 30 percent tax credit. In order to meet the program requirements, the home’s photovoltaic system (solar panels) must convert the sun’s light into energy for the electrical supply for the home. Additionally, the system must comply with all state and local electrical and fire code regulations.

Many consumers are surprised to learn that, under most circumstances, labor costs for the installation can be included along with the cost of the solar energy system. Unused portions of the tax credit can also be carried forward to the next year(s) if the credit will exceed the taxpayer’s liability for a single tax year.

To qualify, approved solar equipment must be purchased and installed. Qualifying manufacturers include a tax credit certification statement in with the packaging of the equipment or, in some cases, on their website. The structure being modified must also be used as a residence for the taxpayer, but it does not have to be their primary home. Outfitting a ski chalet or summer beach cottage with solar panels still qualifies consumers for the tax credit. The installation must have been done between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2016 in order to be eligible for the credit.

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What Does the Future of Solar Hold?

What Does the Future of Solar Hold


We’ve all wondered how to combat climate change and air pollution in our day-to-day lives. Relying on solar power is a great way to reduce your reliance on fossil fuels. Now that solar is affordable and attainable for the average homeowner, many ask the question, “What is the future of solar?”

Solar Savings

Historically, the price of solar panels has prevented homeowners from adopting renewable energy on a large scale. Whatever the long-term savings associated with solar, photovoltaics were expensive and many home and property owners were unwilling to take the risk of investing in them. In the past few years, however, panels have become both cheaper and more efficient, so in addition to lower cost, homeowners don’t need to install as many of them to power their homes. Solar is already less expensive than coal and gas power in parts of Dubai, Brazil, Uruguay, and Germany, and the price is expected to keep falling.

Not only have solar panels become cheaper and more efficient, but the cost of installing them has dropped as well. The price of adding a five-kilowatt power system to the average US home fell from $32,000 in 2010 to $23,000 in 2013 even without taking subsidies and tax credits into account. Lower installation prices are largely the result of economies of scale; as more homeowners and developers buy solar panels, the unit price of installing new solar drops. 1st Light Energy has also come up with more flexible purchase plans to make it easier for just about anyone to install panels.

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Solar Panel Health Concern Title Image

What Health Concerns Come With Installing Residential Solar Panels?

Solar Panel Health Concern Title Image

Buzzwords and misconceptions have gotten our species into a lot of trouble over the years, as we fear or find things around us according to information that may not be the most accurate.

Of course, anyone interested in investing in new solar panels should do thorough research, consulting the experts in health and solar energy systems. And as such experts, let 1st Light Energy dispel any health concerns.

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The Durability of a Solar Panel

The Durability of a Solar Panel: Strengths, Weaknesses and Troubleshooting

The Durability of a Solar Panel

Solar panels allow you to harness the sun’s power to provide clean energy for your home or business without fossil fuel combustion. Over the last decade, solar panels have become one of the most reliable and sustainable ways to power homes and buildings of all sizes.


To the naked eye, solar panels sometimes look like they would shatter under the slightest amount of pressure. In reality, the superior design of solar panels makes them highly durable.

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6 Reasons Now is the Time for Solar Energy

6 Reasons That Now is the Time For Solar Energy

6 Reasons Now is the Time for Solar Energy

The combination of improved efficiency, government incentives, and tremendous environmental benefits make solar power the perfect storm of energy savings. More dependable and accessible than ever, residents from all over the United States are finding out just how reliable solar power is, and that it is no longer just a luxury for upper-class households.

Here’s why there’s never been a better time than right now to invest in solar panels for your home:

  • Lower costs than ever before. As the solar industry has grown and technology has developed, the cost of residential solar panels has dropped by 66 to 75 percent. The overall cost of producing solar power has fallen as well, from $76.67 per watt in 1977 to just $0.613 per watt in 2014, according to a study by Clean Technic. As costs have stabilized at more affordable levels, solar power is within easy reach of middle-class households.
  • Federal and state incentives and tax breaks. The government has finally caught on that solar energy creates jobs and is great for the environment. By purchasing a solar system for your home, you are officially considered an environmental patron, and therefore entitled to a 30 percent solar Federal Investment Tax Credit. Many state and local governments offer equally enticing incentives. In New York State, for example, up to 69 percent of the cost of a solar system is covered by tax credits and incentives, including a State Income Tax Credit of 25% and a $0.70 per watt upfront rebate from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
  • Utility companies must comply. One of the reasons many households turn to solar energy is to get out from under the utility companies’ control. While initially many of the utility companies fought solar power, today, utility companies are required by law to accommodate homes that draw part of their power from solar panels. In fact, you can even take advantage of provisions that allow you to offload surplus power generated by solar panels back to your local utility company to earn energy credits.
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