Solar Rebate: The cost of solar energy has dropped so much over the years that it’s now 90% cheaper than in 2009. That makes it far more affordable than electricity derived from fossil fuels.

That should be enough reason for you to switch to clean, renewable solar energy. If not, then know that the US Congress extended the 26% federal solar tax credit until 2022.

On top of that are the solar rebate programs you can get from your state, city, or utility company.

We’ll give you the juicy details you need to apply and qualify for such cashback programs, so be sure to read on.

Ownership of the System

To qualify for most solar rebates, you need to be the named owner of the solar photovoltaic (PV) system. In such cases, you must have had bought the solar panels and paid for them in full. Unfortunately, that also means leased equipment is often not eligible for a cashback.

An example of such a scheme is the Maryland Residential Clean Energy Rebate. To qualify for its $1,000 rebate, MD homeowners must prove that they’ve paid for their system in full. Another requirement is that they must have already installed their solar PV system.

A Contract With a Certified Solar Installer

Consumers often need to hire a solar installer certified by the state or city to qualify for rebates.

Take the GoSolarSF Program run by the City of San Francisco, California, as an example. SF residents need to contract with a GoSolarSF installer to be eligible.

NABCEP Certification

NABCEP stands for North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners. It’s a non-profit organization that created the standards for professional solar installation.

For that reason, NABCEP certification boosts the credibility of solar companies. That’s also why some solar rebate programs include it as an eligibility requirement.

Fortunately, that also means professional solar companies employ NABCEP-certified experts. Some examples are Renova Energy, Sun Driven Solar, and Blue Raven installers.

An Account With the Utility Provider

Some utility companies offer solar rebates to incentivize new and existing customers. However, that means you need to have an account with that specific utility provider.

An example is Austin Energy in Texas, offering a solar rebate of $2,500. Only Austin Energy account holders can qualify for that program, though. Moreover, customers must connect their new solar PV system to their accounts.

Program Application or Registration

States and utility solar electricity rebates often have time limitations and funding restrictions. As such, they’re only available for a limited time and on a first-come, first-served basis.

For those reasons, many of those rebates require filling out application forms.

Fortunately, many local governments and utility companies allow you to do that online. An example is the state government of Maryland. MD residents can apply for the Residential Clean Energy Rebate online.

Solar Rebate Programs Make Going Solar Even Cheaper

Keep in mind that many solar rebate programs are only available for a limited time. That’s why you should grab them while your state, city, or utility company is still offering them. Just make sure to satisfy the scheme’s terms and conditions so that your application won’t go to waste.

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