DSIRE is the 'go-to' list for government incentives and policies that promote renewable energy. It was established in 1995 and it is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. When you go to the DSIRE website just click on your state to check out all the programs available to you.
Feed In Tariffs
A feed in tariff usually refers to a policy that requires utilities to purchase renewable electricity from people in their service area.
This often takes the form of a long-term contract that guarantees that you will receive an above-market rate for each kilowatt hour of electricity your solar panels produce.
The tariff is designed to promote the adoption of renewable energy technologies that may not make financial sense on their own.
Unlike a solar rebate which is a payment made to you, a solar tax credit lowers the amount you owe on your tax bill.
In the United States, the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit allows people to claim a credit of 30% of the cost of a solar power system. If you are unable to use the entire credit it can be carried over until at least 2016.
As an added bonus, beginning in 2009 there is no longer a maximum amount placed on the solar tax credit.
Now that we've taken a look at some of the various solar financial incentives available, let's take a moment to consider the dominant trend in solar power rebates.
Since the cost of solar panels has come down drastically over the last few years, some people think it is a good idea to delay a solar installation to let prices drop further.
There's only one problem with this idea...
As the price of a solar installation continues to drop, governments have begun to scale back their solar rebate programs.
Not fair, you say?
Well, just remember that the rebates and tax credits were designed to get the solar industry on its feet in the first place. As the solar industry brings its costs down through economies of scale, the rebates should no longer be necessary.
In other words, don't wait too long to go solar because the solar power rebates we see today weren't meant to last.