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Solar Energy Tax Credit

The information on this page focuses in on Solar Energy Tax Credit devices or systems that qualify for the Federal Energy Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency.

To see the information on all Energy Tax Credit devices and the dollar amounts of the Energy Tax Credits availiable, click here

What Solar Energy Devices or Systems Qualify for the Solar Energy Rebates or Credits? 

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Basically, the two main uses of solar energy, heating water and producing electricity, can be covered by the Federal Solar Energy Credit.

Solar Water Heater - Solar Energy Tax Credit Requirements

The shape, size, and quality of your solar water heater doesn't make much difference as far as qualifying for the Solar Energy Rebates or Tax Credit.
Solar water heater system

However, it must meet several requirements for you to get the credit.

  • First, at least 50% of the heat generated by the device must come from the sun. What this means is that if you are using a system that ties into some other type of heat producer in conjunction with your solar water heater, that other source must not produce more than half of the heat for the water.
  • If you don't tie into any other hot water producing source at all, of course, you qualify.
  • Here's the harder part. Your system must be certified. This must be done by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) or the organization in your state authorized to certify solar systems.
  • Thirdly, if you use the solar hot water system for your swimming pool or hot tub, no credit. It must be used for domestic purposes.
  • And last but best, the installation cost is included in the Tax Credit.

Solar Panels (Photovoltaic Systems) - Solar Energy Federal Tax Credit Requirements

Sanyo / Xantrex 1.0kW Grid-Tied Solar Electric System
The requirements for your solar panels are a little easier to understand than for your solar water heater:

  • The photovoltaic system has to provide electricity to the home.
  • The system has to meet your regional fire and electrical safety code requirements. 
That's it!

For the deadline for the Solar Energy Tax Rebates or Credit as well as how much credit you can take, see Energy Tax Credit.

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