How the Federal Solar Tax Credit Works and What You Need to Know

solar tax credit 2019

Solar energy not only helps save the planet, but it can also help you save money!

Did you know that once you install solar panels on your home, you’re eligible to claim a third of your total setup costs on your tax return? For anyone who’s on the fence about switching to solar from traditional power grids, reaping the benefits from the Federal Solar Tax Credit could be just the thing to sway your decision. 

Here’s what you need to know in order to do it right: 

Understanding the Federal Solar Tax Credit

As mentioned above, the Federal Solar Tax Credit (or the Investment Tax Credit) allows you to claim 30% of your total solar installation, licenses, and equipment costs on your Federal tax return. 

This means that if you wind up spending $15,000 altogether on your new solar system, you’ll essentially save $5,000 on your taxes the next year. In fact, research shows that the average solar shopper in 2019 saves around $5,000 just by switching to solar and taking advantage of the current program.

This opportunity was originally introduced in 2016, and Congress has since extended the tax credit to 2022 for homeowners to take advantage of in hopes to promote sustainable energy consumption. However, this deal won’t be around for long.  

How the Federal Solar Tax Credit Will Change Over the Years

Unfortunately, the Federal Solar Tax Credit only has a lifespan of 5 years. Not to mention, its value depreciates the longer you wait. 

The amount that you can deduct from your following year’s taxes becomes less and less with each passing year. Here’s a quick breakdown of the payout differences:

  • 2019: If you purchase solar panels within the year, you can enjoy the full 30% tax credit on your entire system installation. Now is the time to buy since 2019 is more than halfway through!
  • 2020: Anyone who makes the change to solar energy can enjoy a 26% tax credit off their total cost.
  • 2021: A little late to the game, but homeowners and commercial business owners can still claim a 22% tax credit on their solar panel system from Uncle Sam. 
  • 2022 and beyond: At this point, only commercial solar energy buyers can claim a modest 10% tax credit on their solar setups. Residential homeowners are out of luck. 

Although the deal starts to wither, the U.S government does give buyers a little breathing room to get the job done and reap the rewards. For instance, changes to the program have made it so that people can claim the tax credit immediately after construction and installation is finished. The only catch is that solar systems have to be fully operational by the end of 2023. 

Knowing if You’re Eligible for the Federal Solar Tax Credit

Combing through all this information concerning timeframes and percentages may seem a bit overwhelming, but knowing if you’re eligible for the Federal Solar Tax Credit and claiming benefits is pretty straightforward. 

Essentially, the only stipulation that determines your eligibility for the Investment Tax Credit is whether or not you own your solar system outright. This means that, if you happen to lease your solar systems through a solar energy provider, you do not own the equipment. Therefore, you’re not eligible for any kind of tax credit. 

On the other hand, if you do own your system, great! Claiming your solar tax credit is as easy as informing your year-end accountant about your purchase and giving them the proof, or if you use a virtual tax filer (TurboTax, H&R Block), you can simply plug in the credit and watch your savings roll in. 

Working with a Solar Professional Can Help

Whether you’ve already made a solar system purchase or you’re considering taking the plunge, working with a solar professional can help make the process a lot easier. 

For those with a setup in place, don’t hesitate to reach out to your provider to ask questions and gain valuable insights so that you can get the most out of your energy plan. From product issues to general questions, an expert-level solar provider should assist you with any problems so that you can live a better life with a sustainable peace of mind. That being said, if solar energy is new to you, then feel free to contact a professional at SolarTime USA to learn more. 

Their mission is to always put the customer first. Serving over 21,000 families and businesses throughout the U.S. and Europe, you can trust that your solar needs will be met with the utmost care, and most of all, the greatest affordability. 

Reaping the benefits of the Federal Solar Tax Credit is just one aspect of how solar energy can benefit your home, so visit SolarTime USA today and start making a difference for the future.

 

How do solar panels affect the value of my home?

solar panel appraisal value

Do you know about solar panel appraisal value and how it can increase your selling price and decrease your bills?

You might not be moving and selling yet, but it’s worth to be aware of what value your home could gain with solar panels installation added to it. In this blog post, we will explain how solar panel impacts your appraisal value.

Solar Panel Appraisal Value

According to the study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, people who are looking for a new home have been willing to pay more for a property with the solar system already installed. The study examined about 23,000 home sales during 13 years of home sale data. The findings showed that homes with solar panel installation are more expensive by an average of $4/Watt more than homes without solar panels.

Cash Purchase

Customers who purchase solar panels with cash are fully owning their system. In this case, a system is considered as a part of the property and it raises the value of the house.

Financing

Financing your solar panel installation through a loan that has since been paid in full means that you are now the owner of the system. If your solar panel system is financed via an unpaid loan, you are obliged to make monthly payments to cover your debt, ownership depends on the contract signed with the lender. Selling your home with the solar loan increases the value of your property and thanks to the additional revenue you may pay off the loan. In some instances, you may also choose to pass on the solar loan to the new home-buyer, without increasing the sale value.

Lease

Leasing the solar panels allows the homeowners to pay for the right to use the solar system for a defined period of time, but they are not the owners of the system. The system belongs to the solar provider. When you are ready to sell your home you can pay the rest of your lease and sell the solar system to the new homeowner. There is also a possibility to transfer the lease to the buyer, provided that the new property owner wants to take over the lease.

How Solartime Can Help

We are aware that installing solar panels is a long-term investment so we want to make it more simple and straightforward for all families.  If you decide to sell your home with a solar loan, we can help you transfer it to the new homeowner. We can also assist you in moving your solar panels to your new home. We are here to help you in the best way we could.

Should you have any further questions about this, do not hesitate to contact us at 972 675 7725 or office@solartimeusa.com

Do Solar Panels Panels Work During Cloudy Weather & Other Weather Conditions?

Do Solar Panels Panels Work During Cloudy Weather

Solar panels are very adaptable to different weather conditions and are installed all over the world, in places such as the below-freezing temperatures of Alaska and the searing heat of the Sahara. If you are thinking about how solar panels work during cloudy weather, it is crucial to understand how the weather may affect their efficiency and output. Let’s take a look at different weather conditions and how they affect the solar production.

Do Solar Panels Work in Cloudy Weather?

Yes, solar panels will still generate electricity in cloudy weather, just about 20-30% of its full capacity. As a result, clouds reduce the amount of sunlight that reaches your panels. Solar panels are designed to use direct and indirect sunlight to generate electricity. No worries, you are still producing power even when the clouds are up there!

Do Solar Panels Work In The Cold?

Solar panels’ production is more reliant on the amount of the sunlight that reaches the panels, than the temperature of the air surrounding them. However, since we are dealing with electricity, it is known that as the panels get hotter, they produce less energy even with the same amount of sunlight. The panels are tested at a temperature of 25 degrees C- about 77 degrees F, and heat can reduce that efficiency by 10-25%. That’s why the best production months for Texas are during spring and fall when days are already long, but the temperature is mild!

How About Rainfall?

Solar panels produce electricity even on rainy days due to visible sunlight getting through the rain. Rain is beneficial for solar panels, as it helps to keep your panels operating efficiently by washing away dust, pollen, birds’ droppings, and or debris. So rainy days are solar-shower days!

And Snowfall?

A little bit of snow, as in the case of rain, can be useful for cleaning solar panels. The sunlight can still pass through a thin cover of snow. Designers always install solar panels at the most effective angle to help with sun reflection and the fall of snow if needed. Fortunately, we do not have to deal with this as much, here in Texas!

Solar Panels in Hail

Solar panels could possibly be damaged by a heavy hailstorm, but it is very rare. Fortunately, if it happens, any potential damage caused by severe weather conditions would be covered by your homeowner’s insurance, just like your roof. Solar Panels are tougher to break than your roof, so you can sleep calmly! They will withhold the hail and if not we will work with your insurance to fix them if needed!

Solar Panels In The Wind

Most solar panels can withstand winds up to 100mph. Every solar installation is firmly attached to the roof. The panels must be properly mounted to a sturdy, immovable surface to pass the final inspection.

If you still have any questions regarding the performance of solar panels share your questions with us at office@solartimeusa.com or call/text us 972 675 7725.

 

Solar power is great, but where do I start?

 

 

Our number one goal is to make ALL of our customers happy! One of them offered to write a blog post explaining how easy it was to go solar. We asked her to tell us her story and this is what she wrote:

That’s a great question and it can be an overwhelming task to try to figure out. My name is Heike and I had that same daunting task ahead of me, where do I start? How do I find out more? How do I know I’m dealing with a legitimate company…oh, and even worse, I’m a co-op member is Solar power even possible for our family?

All those questions made my head spin, luckily that was a little over a year ago and I am happy to say I now have answers! I’m happy to share my experience with you and hopefully take some of the headaches away for you.

As I mentioned I’m a co-op member, not by choice mind you, that’s the only option where we live, however, we now have solar panels!!!

From my experience, it’s most important to have a company that is honest, helpful and passionate about solar power and helping others become solar power users.
After talking to a few other companies I finally found Solartime USA!!! Right at the first meeting, I was impressed with the knowledge and history of the company, this is a family owned and ran a company that has been in business in Europe for many years (let’s face it; Europe has been at the forefront of the task to save our environment).

Solartime USA will have a representative come out, go over your ideas with you and help you get the system you envision, whether that is roof mounted, a ground mount or even on a carport. The support is amazing, they will walk you through the entire process, pretty much handle everything for you from design to finance to installation (in our case they handled everything with the co-op as well!)…The icing on the cake is the 30% tax credit from the government and yes, you guessed it, Solartime USA even has help available for claiming your tax credit- for FREE! You’ll end up with a high-quality system with a great warranty. Most importantly, the support continues after installation, your system is remotely monitored. We’ve gotten random cards in the mail or a call to make sure we are happy with our system.

The entire process, from the first meeting to completed installation only took a few weeks! All those hours I spent worrying about how to get solar was basically wasted, this was so very easy once I found Solartime USA. We produce energy for ourselves, what we overproduce we sell back to the co-op, our electric bills have drastically shrunk, we made it through the winter months that usually produced $500 to $650 monthly bills to our highest bill being $130. Going solar has been a great choice!!! In a nutshell, going solar can be very simple, it has been for us, it can be for you. All it takes is to reach out…here’s how:

Call: 972-675-7725     Email: gosolar@solartimeusa.com or go online: www.solartimeusa.com

 

 

 

 

High Electric Bills? Learn How You Can Cut Back On Energy Usage

residential solar panels

In our innovative, tech-focused, and eco-conscious age, it’s surprising that a larger number of Americans aren’t choosing to live green. In just a few small steps, you can minimize the amount of energy you use and cut back on your utilities.

There’s more you can do to make your home energy efficient than just installing a new refrigerator. There are energy-saving tactics both big and small you can take part in to make your home a more efficient, and greener, place.

Here’s what you can do to lower your utility bills, cut back on your energy resources, and make your environmental footprint just that much smaller.

Remember Your Windows

Your windows are a key player when it comes to making your home more energy efficient. This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed by how often homeowners forget about these energy-suckers.

Don’t open your windows during the fall and winter months if you’re looking for a cool breeze. Instead, turn down the thermostat. By doing so, you’ll save your HVAC system from overworking itself to fight against the draft.

Make sure that your air conditioning unit fits properly in your windows during the summer, too. If the accordion wings on your unit don’t fit flush against the window frame, you may be cooling the outdoors in addition to your house!

During temperature-neutral days, turn your HVAC system off and let the weather outside naturally regulate the temperature in your home. You can also add weather stripping to your windows and doors that will help to retain your home’s internal Temperature throughout the year.

You may also want to install an automatic, or programmable, thermostat. These thermostats can be as cheap as $20 and work great to cut energy use without sacrificing comfort.

Here Comes the Sun…

The sun can be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to making your home more energy efficient. If your home is in an area where there aren’t many trees to provide shade, you might find yourself fighting to crank up the AC high enough during the summer months.

The good news is you can save yourself the high energy bills during the summer by installing blackout curtains over your windows. Blackout curtains help to keep the sunlight out so your home doesn’t turn into an oven and your AC unit doesn’t have to overwork itself.

You can also take advantage of your home’s sun-soaking abilities by installing residential solar panels. Residential solar panels allow particles of sunlight (photons) to knock electrons free from their atoms. This generates a flow of electricity.

By generating your home’s electricity using the same sunlight that overheats your house during the summer months, you can save significantly on your energy bills. What’s more, because you’re generating energy using sunlight instead of using an electricity service, you’re reducing the number of fossil fuels burned.

Unplug Your Electronics When They’re Done Charging

There’s a reason why it’s commonly suggested to unplug your electronic devices when they’re not in use. And it’s not just because it’s a fire hazard.

When you leave your phone plugged in even after it’s fully charged, it continues to pull energy from the grid. This is true of other electronics as well including your laptop, your TV, stereo, game console, and more.

You’re paying for additional electricity that isn’t even being used. Those small price hikes can build up over time and leave you wondering where all your money’s gone.

To save money and energy (and to reduce the risk of an electric fire) get in the habit of unplugging your chargers when they’re not in use. This includes pulling your charger out of the wall when your phone is done charging too, not just unplugging your phone.

It can also help to plug your electronics into a power strip that can be turned off when you’re not using your devices. This way, you don’t have to worry about what needs to be unplugged when you’re hurrying out the door. You only need to flip the switch on the power strip and you’re good to go.

Interested in Installing Residential Solar Panels?

In 2018, utility-scale electricity generation facilities in the U.S. generated up to 4.18 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity. But only 17% of that energy came from renewable resources. Residential solar panels give you the chance to draw your home’s energy from a renewable resource and do your part in the fight against climate change.

Solartime USA offers residential solar panels and solar panel installation so you can make your home more efficient all in one place. To learn more about our solar installation process and solar panel design, contact Solartime USA today.