Time running out for solar tax incentives

Time running out for solar tax incentives

Now is a great time to power your world with solar. Some solar incentive programs are going to stay the same, while others are about to change dramatically. The 40 percent tax credits (30 percent federal, 10 percent state of New Mexico) are remaining to help pay for your system.

We also still have great production incentives to pay you just for producing clean energy, in addition to the savings for making your own electricity.

With the tax credits and electricity savings remaining the same, I would like to explain how the new solar production incentives will be changing for home owners at the beginning of July. The small solar program (applicable to most residential systems) is now divided into four “timed” tiers extending for the next two years.

The chart below describes the tiers, their timing and value. The application dates refer to when El Paso Electric accepts the application. The value per kilowatt-hour (kW/h) is how much you are paid for each kilowatt-hour of electricity generated by your solar PV system. Again, this is in addition to the electric bill savings you realize from the power generated by your solar PV system.


January 1 to June 30, 2012

10 cents

July 1 to December 31, 2012

8 cents

January 1 to June 30, 2013

6 cents

July 1 to December 31, 2013

4 cents

You will be paid these rates until December 31, 2020, and the value per kW/h at the time you enter the program remains in effect for the duration (the new lower pricing only affects new entrants). So the sooner your system is active, the greater the benefits of the program.

Let’s look at how much you could make from an average size system of about 4 kilowatts. A reasonably optimized system should generate approximately 7,353 kilowatt hours per year. You receive financial benefits from two programs. The tiered program in the chart will provide $735 per year if you are enrolled before July 1.

Let’s consider the average electric rate for this area is 12 cents per kilowatt hour. When you count the direct electric bill savings you expect to receive from generating your electricity, then your annual electric bill is reduced by another $882. The total annual value from the two programs is $1,617.

Now is a great time to go solar. Solar panel prices are down, and incentives are at their peak. While the tiered program will continue to offer great return on investment for all participants, those who contract their system and get registered in the program by June, 30, 2012, will enjoy an accelerated return.

Discover what many others in New Mexico have already learned. All energy comes from the sun and it makes sense... dollars and cents.

Sunspot Solar Energy Systems is the Las Cruces area’s leading solar installer. Not only does the company’s solar panels and inverters have a 25-year warranty, it also guarantees the production performance of your system. The company use products manufactured in New Mexico and offers superior customer service - from free consultation to completing the maze of paperwork required for incentives and tax credits.

As of June 6, 2012, this service provider was highly rated on Angie’s List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check AngiesList.com for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie’s List.

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