This section of the website is dedicated to providing you with up to date solar incentive information. And there are nice incentive programs at the federal, state and local levels that help make buying and installing solar more affordable!
Federal tax credits have been around a while, and will continue to be in place for a while longer thanks to strong bi-partisan support in Congress in December of 2015.
Under President Bush, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 created the 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) to incent installation of both residential and commercial solar systems that were placed in service during 2005 and 2006. That 2 year ITC was extended another year (through 2008) under the 2006 Tax Relief and Health Care Act.
Then the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 extended the ITC for another 8 years! It also removed the $2000 cap on residential installations, which was a real boost for residential solar! The ITC applied to solar systems placed in service through 2016.
Showing the strong bi-partisan support for the accelerating US solar industry and associated energy benefits and job growth, Congress passed the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2015 extending the 30% ITC through 2019 and changing the eligibility standard from projects that are "placed in service" to those that "commence construction" by 2019. Unlike past versions of the ITC that faced a "cliff" once the eligible time period ended, the 2015 extension also provided for a phase-out of the ITC between 2019 and 2023. So the 30% ITC applies to projects commenced through 2019, then it lessens to 26% in 2020, 22% in 2021 to 2023. After that, the residential ITC drops to zero while commercial and utility ITC will permanently remain at 10%.
What do we mean by "tax credit" when we talk about the ITC? A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the taxes a person/entity would otherwise pay. The ITC is based on the amount a person/entity invests in solar property. So as a simple illustration (talk to your tax advisor for the complete picture and requirements), if a person buys and installs a $10,000 solar system for their house, and they otherwise owe $5000 in taxes in the applicable tax year, the 30% tax credit would mean that person's taxes would be reduced by 30% x $10,000 (solar investment) or $3,000. It is a much more meaningful tax incentive than the more typical tax "deduction" and makes a solar investment all the more attactive!
Colorado Solar Incentives
Currently, Colorado has over 40 financial incentives for solar statewide, and more than 10 utility companies who offer their customers some sort of financial incentive for grid-tie applications.
Click here for a detailed list of available incentives in Colorado
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