Rooftop, Solar

Listen Up: Solar Incentives in 2016

Over the past few months you may have seen or heard a continuous stream of ads warning about the imminent demise of the solar Investment Tax Credit and California’s Net Metering program. Good news for 2016: both of these programs have been extended. The incentive panic is over (for now). The solar industry – as well as homeowners and business owners – can concentrate on a steady transition to clean rooftop solar power.

As a result of the hard work at solar advocacy groups SEIA, Vote Solar and CALSEIA, the ITC is good through 2021 (30 percent in 2016-2019, then 26 percent in 2020 and 22 percent in 2021). And unlike their brethren in Nevada and Hawaii, the California Public Utilities Commission has made the decision to extend retail net metering, albeit at a slightly reduced rate.

But there is still real urgency to go solar: the sooner your installation is complete and you flip that switch to “on,” the sooner you’ll reduce your electric bill. Granted, installation costs are likely to be a little lower in future years, but electric rates keep going up and the “cost of doing nothing” will only grow as you pay your monthly electric bill. Many states still have rebate programs and caps on net metering – so check with your local installer to find out the status of incentives for your home or business. For more about the extension of the ITC and local net metering programs, please Listen Up to the Energy Show on Renewable Energy World.

About The Energy Show

As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don’t have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we’ll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices. 

About Your Host

solarBarry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar power expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to become the largest national residential solar installer by the middle of the last decade with over 10,000 rooftop customers coast to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sold the company in 2012.

His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems include Andalay, the first solar panel with integrated racking, grounding and wiring; the first UL listed AC solar panel; and the first fully “plug and play” AC solar panel. His current efforts are focused on reducing the soft costs for solar power systems, which cause system prices in the U.S. to be double those of Germany.

Although Barry may be known for his outspoken work in the solar industry, he has hands-on experience with a wide range of energy saving technologies.  He’s been doing residential energy audits since the punch card days, developed one of the first ground-source heat pumps in the early ‘80s, and always abides by the Laws of Thermodynamics.

Lead image: Green microphone. Credit: Shutterstock.