Get Solar Energy Rebates

Upgrading to solar energy in your home is made much more affordable by the availability of rebates from various agencies. Here's a guide to getting rebates for investing in various solar technologies including water heating, photovoltaic systems, and solar hybrid cars.

Solar Water Heating

Water heaters are one of the ways that many people are trying to help conserve energy in their homes. A solar water heating system will add efficiency to both your energy bills as well as the water wasted. As long as at least half of the energy generated by the solar water heating system is generated by the sun you should qualify for a tax rebate. This program is only good for homeowners (not for businesses) and is not eligible on heating systems used for hot tubs or swimming pools. All Energy Star solar water heaters will qualify for the credit. You must apply for the credit and have the system installed prior to December 31, 2016. The rebate for this is 30 percent of the cost of the water heater unit itself.

Solar Photovoltaic Systems

If you install a photovoltaic system for your home's main source of electricity, you may qualify for a rebate of 30 percent of the cost of the system. You must have the system installed prior to December 31, 2016, and it must meet all fire and electrical codes.

Solar Hybrid Cars

If you decide to purchase a hybrid solar car, you may be eligible for a rebate as well. These rebates are a little harder to figure out, but they are available. The rebate amount is based on a formula that takes the vehicle weight, technology and fuel economy and compares it to non-hybrid cars for the same models. There is a cap placed on the number of cars that can get this rebate. The cap is 60,000 cars per manufacturer. Toyota and Honda have already met their cap so rebates will not be available for those. Credits are still available for Ford, GM and Nissan, though.

How to Get These Credits

To apply for these credits you will need to keep all the receipts for both the product and the installation. You will need to maintain a manufacturer certification statement as well. Without this certification document you will not qualify for any rebates. These credit also apply to new home construction that uses these solar options. Get a cost break down of each solar element you use. You will need to submit these documents when you file your tax return to claim the rebate.

Whenever you're upgrading or adding new systems to your home, consider solar options. The rebates that are available can make the difference between a solar option you can't afford and one that you can. The big payoff will come down the road as your energy bills start to reflect the increased energy efficency of solar systems.