February 25, 2015

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Residential Energy Tax Credits for Solar

Location:Medford, Oregon, USA Oregon Links to this post




General Information 

Residents can get a credit on their Oregon income taxes for adding
solar energy system(s) to their homes, helping to reduce imported fossil
fuels and preserve Oregon’s environment.

After the system is installed, residents can file a Residential Energy Tax
Credit (RETC) application. Each solar technology must be installed
according to minimum requirements. The Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE)
maintains a list of solar companies that understand these requirements.
 
Residential – Solar Electric (PV) Tax Credits
 
Solar electric systems, also called “PV” systems generate electricity directly
from the sun using photovoltaic modules. More information is available
on solar electric (PV) page.
  1. Tax credit is based on $1.90 per watt of installed capacity (DC) up to $6,000 per residence taken over four years ($1,500 per year) limited to 50 percent of the cost of the system.
  2. Must be verified by a tax credit technician. 
  3. Must be comprised of new UL listed equipment.
  4. Be a minimum of 200 watts.
Solar Domestic Water Heating Residential Tax Credits

Solar domestic water heating systems use roof-mounted solar collectors to
pre-heat incoming cold water so that on a sunny day, little or no backup water
heating is needed. More information is available on the solar water heating page.
  1. System must be verified by a tax credit technician.
  2. Tax credit is based on estimated energy savings for a typical four-person household.
  3. Tax credit amount is $0.60 per kWh saved up to $1,500.
  4. Credit is limited to 100 percent of the total system cost.
  5. Equipment must be new and either OG-300 certified or listed as a “Research and Development” system by ODOE.
  Residential – Solar Pool Heating Tax Credits

Solar Pool heating systems are very effective for increasing swimming pool
temperatures under warm sunny conditions. Most collector systems use unglazed
type collectors that are not effective under cloudy, rainy or cool conditions.
These systems can eliminate the need for backup heat during most of a typical
outdoor swimming season. Annual savings vary greatly, depending on the size
of the pool and the number of months used each year. Use of a pool
blanket is highly recommended with or without a solar pool heating system.
  1. Equipment must be new and collector must come with a 10-year warranty. 
  2. Collector area must be at least 40 percent of the pool surface area if there is a pool blanket. 
  3. Collector area must be at least 60 percent of the pool surface area without pool blanket. 
  4. Tax credit amount is $0.15 per kWh saved up to $1,500. 
  5. Credit is limited to 50 percent of the total system cost.
 
Residential – Passive Solar Space Heating Tax Credits
 
Passive solar space heating relies on the use of windows, a home’s design
and construction materials to collect and store heating energy.
  1. Systems must produce energy savings equal to or greater than 20 percent of the annual energy used for space heating in the dwelling. 
  2. New or retrofit homes are eligible. 
  3. Tax credit amount is $0.60 per kWh saved up to $1,500. 
  4. Energy savings are determined by ODOE. 
  5. Systems must meet minimum passive solar design criteria.
 
Residential – Active Solar Space Heating Tax Credits
Active solar space heating systems use solar collectors to heat water that is
used to heat the home. These systems are more complicated than any of the
other solar energy systems; should be designed and built by trained or
experienced professionals. A RETC is based on:
  1. Systems that produce energy savings equal to not less than 15 percent of the annual energy used for space heating in the dwelling 
  2. A tax credit amount is $0.60 per kWh saved up to $1,500. 
  3. Energy savings estimated by the solar professional and reviewed by ODOE. 
  4. Verification by a tax-credit technician.