Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Solar is More Affordable Than Ever

Thanks to Missouri citizen’s demand for electric power that’s cleaner than our coal-intensive generation mix today, several programs are helping Missourians become more independent while they reduce their electric bills without sacrificing their quality of life.  Missouri has several key rewards for homeowners and businesses who decide to run their electrical appliances on sunshine–clean power generated by a solar electric system:

  • Net Metering.  This is incorporated into The Clean Energy Initiative but was actually put in place by the Missouri Net Metering Law that went into effect in 2008.
  • A Missouri rebate in the amount of $2 per installed watt.
  • Compatibile with the 30% federal tax credit for renewable energy systems.
  • Ownership of the Renewable Energy Credits associated with the energy produced by renewable resources.

Net Metering
Net Metering basically says that you have a right to generate electricity and connect your generation system up to the electric grid.  It says that you can become a micro-generator and go into competition with the utility company.  Don’t get any big ideas about starting up a mini-utility and selling to your friends and neighbors, though, because the program is designed to offset your usage, and not much more.  But the good news is that youcan set up a wind turbine or solar electric system and generate your own electricity.

(This is a very brief overview of Net Metering.  For a more in-depth look at the subject, see our Net Metering Page.)

$2 Per Watt Rebate
This is a big deal.  You can actually get a check from your utility company for several thousand of dollars to help you pay for your system.  Let’s look at this using an example: If you install a 5kW system (5,000 watts) on your house, you will get a check from your utility company (Ameren, KCP&L, or Empire Electric) for $10,000.  That’s pretty cool!  How would you like to have your utility send YOU a check for a change?

And it gets better…  The current regulatory rules say that the check must be sent within 30 days of application.  Now, that’s service!

(For a more in-depth look at the Missouri rebate, see our Missouri Rebate page.)

30% Federal Tax Credit
This is a separate program at the federal level that your Uncle Sam has in place to reward you for being smart and making the move to clean, renewable energy.  It’s included here because The Clean Energy Initiative to make a huge difference in the cost of a system.  This program allows you to receive up to 30% of the cost of the system as a tax credit.  What’s a tax credit…?  It’s essentially a voucher that you can use to pay your taxes.  When you file your taxes, you will have a credit to apply toward any tax liability you might have to the tune of 30% of the cost of your renewable energy system.  Wind, biomass, solar electric, solar heat, solar hot water, and more!  NOTE: this is a tax matter, so some understanding of tax code is required to maximize your benefit.  Consult a tax professional if you have any question about how to best take advantage of this program.

Renewable Energy Credits
A renewable Energy Credit (REC) is like a birth certificate that’s issued every time a MegaWatt of renewable energy is generated.  The biggest difference is that companies will buy them in order to show that they are encouraaging the generation of “green” energy to offset their emissions.  Right now, the market for REC’s in Missouri is in its fledgling stages.  You might even say it’s still in gestation since many of the rules are not even written yet–much less finalized and approved.  But stay tuned!  We’ll give you the latest news on REC’s as soon as it’s available!

We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy. I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.
-Thomas Edison

Contact Us to find out how you can benefit from these great programs!

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