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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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solar power as an investment

Edward Simburger, an electrical engineer and owner of a grid tie solar electric system on his home published a research paper called, “Residential Photovoltaics; An Investment Vehicle for Retiree’s II” which answers the question if solar power should be part of everyone’s investment portfolio. In his paper, Edward compares an investment in a solar electric system to financial indexes and concludes that in investment in photovoltaics provides a better return since it’s low risk and has built in inflation protection. Edward collected the data for the solar electric system from the system installed on his own home in California. As electric rates continue to increase the rate of return on a solar electric system also increases. With rebates, tax credits and other incentives given by local, state and federal governments, today solar power is a much safer investment than the stock market, wouldn’t you...

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solar panel installs on the raise as prices decrease

We’ve all been bombarded with news about doom and gloom in our economy. Although it seems like people now more than ever have a interest in installing solar panels. There has been a lot of buzz in the marketplace that solar panel installations are still increasing amongst homeowners. I think the combination of the 30% federal tax credit, the dropping cost per watt for solar panels, and many more states across the U.S. providing incentives for solar panels is creating a new demand for solar panels even though some other parts of the economy are hurting. The reason for the cost of solar panels being reduced is that there are many more manufacturing offering solar panels today, more than ever, that is creating downward pressure in the price of solar panels. Also due to the credit crisis, many very large solar panel farms projects are sidelined, therefore it caused an oversupply of solar panels in the market which is why we are experience record low prices for solar panels. In times like these, its a buyers market for people looking to buy solar panels. What do you...

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progress energy increasing solar rebates

Progress Energy, a utility company based out of Raleigh, North Carolina which serves over 3 million customers in the the Carolinas and Florida is aggressively encouraging it’s customers to install solar panels through a solar rebate program. The program would offer .50 to a watt per watt installed for residential customers. For commercial customers Progress Energy promises to pay a premium per kWh (kilowatt-hour) contributed to the grid. Payments will be based on market prices although limited details have been disclosed by the company. With more utility companies offering rebates, federal tax credits at an all time high and the cost per watt for solar panels dropping like a rock, it creates the perfect storm for a great investment in a solar electric system this year. Would you...

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looking for solar panel rebates?

DSIRE (database of state incentives for renewable energy), a website dedicated to display rebates, incentives and tax credits for consumers who produce energy from renewable resources. Recently DESIRE released a new website dedicated completely to highlight financial incentives for consumers who install solar energy systems. Its simple to search for solar rebates for both photovoltaics (solar electricity) and solar thermal (solar hot water and space heating) by using the state-by-state map. The website is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technology Program, to help consumers find the information they need to make effiective invesment decisions into solar energy systems. If your’re wondering how much the governement will pay you to install solar panels, you got to start your research on DSIRE Solar. check it out:...

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