**This post was featured on KSL. By now you’ve probably seen or heard solar advertisements making claims about rebates, tax incentives, and programs that help pay for rooftop solar to be installed on your house or place of business. But which incentives are available to you? Which can actually help pay for your solar? Here are some tips and information regarding credits and incentives for going solar in the state of Utah.
Federal Tax Credit
The federal tax credit is the biggest incentive for going solar. It will give you a tax credit of 30 percent of the total cost of your system — including labor, permitting, and engineering — as long as you have a tax liability that can be offset. But, if you can’t use all of the credit this year because your tax liability isn’t big enough, you can carry it over to next year. The 30 percent tax credit is good through the end of 2016, and pending further legislation, will step down to 10 percent in 2017. Currently, systems will have to be completed by the end of 2016, not just started in order to qualify. The federal tax credit does allow you to start your solar system, and add on to it later. Kelly Curtis, director of operations of Solaroo Energy observed, “the federal tax credit is not capped, so you could start with a modest solar array, add on to it in 2015, and even add on to it again in 2016, and get a 30% credit each time.”
State of Utah Tax Credit
The state of Utah tax credit works a little differently than the federal tax credit. The state of Utah will give a credit of 25 percent up to $2,000, again, as long as you have a tax liability that can be offset. The state of Utah will allow you to carry the credit forward for four years. The 25 percent is capped at $2,000, so once you use it, it’s exhausted and can’t be used for adding to an existing system. But they sure add up. Curtis notes, “With just the federal and state tax credits, you could have up to 55 percent of your system paid for you. That definitely makes solar a lot easier decision.”
Rocky Mountain Power Rebate
The Rocky Mountain Power rebate is probably the most confusing and misunderstood of all the incentives for going solar in Utah. The incentive itself is fairly high — scheduled for $1.20 per watt in 2015 — but there is only a limited amount of incentives awarded each year. The incentive is awarded on a lottery system, to those who apply after January 15th of the program year. Curtis comments, “last year, estimates of the odds for winning the incentive lottery was roughly one out of 11. This year, many more people are going solar, and could be one in 20 or 25.” Curtis continued, “Be careful not to use this incentive amount in your savings numbers, or in your decision to do solar, since it is unlikely that you’ll draw it. But you will save money on solar even without it, so if you get it, its just gravy.” Thoroughly confused? Not to worry, click here for all rebate and tax credit information, including direct links to tax forms and applications for incentives.