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economic recovery act of 2009 helps you buy solar

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 passed earlier this year resulted in historic events for the solar power industry. But I noticed that many people out there are still not aware of the benefits. Today I want to highlight the key benefits this legislation has brought to people and organizations who choose to invest in solar panels. tax paying corporations now qualify for a 30% federal tax grant in lieu of a tax credit. A “tax grant” works similar to a rebate in which the U.S. Treasury Department will send a corporation 30% cash payment based off the final cost of the system. This is a limited time offer, only solar electric systems which commence installation before the end of 2010 will qualify. 50% bonus depreciation has been extended for corporations who install solar panels by the end of 2009 $2,000 tax credit cap has been eliminated for solar hot water systems, now solar thermal panels can qualify for the full 30% tax credit. There are many more provisions in the law that helps develop renewable energy technology, SEIA (solar energy industry association) has put together an executive summary that’s really helpful, check it out...

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save money with a solar attic fan

Today, I want to talk about a product that gets very little attention but can save you a lot of money on your summer cooling costs each year. We can all agree that the air conditioner the biggest energy hog on your electric service, when you flip your air conditioner on your electric meter starts spinning forward really quickly and your bill starts to rack up. What if you cut the number of hours your air conditioner runs everyday, how much money would that save you? That’s exactly what a solar attic fan does, it forces the hot air out of your attic, therefore cooling your living space below which requires the air conditioner to kick on less everyday the solar attic fan is running. Many people can’t afford the upfront investment of purchasing a grid tie solar electric system that can offset a majority of your electric bill so I tell many consumers to start with a solar attic fan. It’s more cost effective to first figure out whats to become more energy efficient and then produce clean energy. what do you...

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bring low cost solar power to the poor

Nicole Kuepper is on the path to solving the biggest barrier to going solar, cost. One of the primary reasons why solar cells require such a large upfront investment to get started is because of the intensive manufacturing process. The 23 year old scientist has found out a way to use simple household items to manufacturer solar cells on the fly using nail polish and an ink jet printer. Nicole’s technology uses the same theory of an ink jet printer to print solar cells that are not made from silicon onto a substrate which then can generate electricity. Currently the technology is in it’s infancy stages, although its great to see this type of development and innovative thinking in the solar power industry because its very much needed help solar power reach grid parity. What do you think about Nicole’s process of developing solar cells? In what other ways can the cost of solar panels be reduced for end...

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the scoop on energy efficiency mortgages

A new wave of energy efficiency mortgages are being introduced today by the FHA which allow you to borrow 5% more to upgrade a home you buy with energy efficiency products such as solar panels, LED bulbs, weatherization and other energy efficiency appliances. According to the FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are under pressure from the federal government to develop new mortgages which include more flexible underwriting guidelines to reward energy conscious borrowers and builders. Energy friendly loans would increase incomes of applicants by dollar for every dollar of projected energy savings from green energy upgrades and efficient design. For the program to work correctly, State governments need to provide professional training to licensed appraisers so they can value highly efficient buildings correctly. What do you think about the federal support for energy efficiency...

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sacramento approves feed in tariff

Sacramento Municipal Utility recently approved a feed in tariff that pays people who install solar panels from 5 to 20 cents per kWh (kilowatt-hour) up to 20 years. Feed in tariffs are cash payments from the utility company for the power you contribute to the electric grid. Solar electric systems up to 5 megawatts can qualify to get paid from the Sacramento Municipal Utility. The feed in tariff is also available for home owners as long as they have not received the rebate administered by California for installing solar panels. A feed in tariff is the same financial policy that accelerated Germany into the #1 user of solar power in the world. Feed in tariffs are gaining popularity in the USA, since the first feed in tariff policy passed in Gainesville, FL. In regions where feed in tariffs are active many small solar farms on homes and businesses are setup to create extra income for the property owner. What do you think about feed in tariffs? Should the U.S. have a standardized feed in...

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U.S. Treasury Department releases info on tax grant

Traditionally when you install a solar electric system the federal government gives you a 30% tax credit, although the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 turned the 30% tax credit into a grant. A tax grant works similar to refundable credit in which the federal government will send you a check up to 30% of the final cost of a system if placed in service by 2010. If you have a new construction project that starts in 2009 or 2010 then you have till 2016 to have your solar panels placed in service. The type of properties that qualify for the 30% cash payment from the treasury is still undetermined, although we know for sure individuals do not qualify for the tax grant but only a tax credit, only business entities qualify to apply for the 30% cash payment for installing solar panels. The Treasury department released a guidance document to help you learn about the program before applications are...

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