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OPB Business Partner
  1992- 2010 Tax-Credit Certified Solar Technician
The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners


From our observations, solar hot water heating systems generally range in cost from $13,000 to $18,000. The systems Solar Energy Solutions, Inc. installs generally range in price from $14,000 to $16,000. The reason for the price difference is due to the complexity of the installations. To find out more on how these systems are sized and work, click here or go to our FAQ page for solar hot water. Our prices are higher than some and lower than others. However, what we feel we do better than all is our hands-on approach to each and every aspect to each and every install. Even before a job is started, we bring to all potential projects personal and courteous customer service. This is something we provide all along. We pick up our phones. If we are going to be late or if there is some deviation from expectations, we are on the phone discussing it. We also like to think of our installations as pieces of art, masterfully installed. We care about the quality of the components used and the eye for detail installations should have.

Site Specifications

There are a couple of site-specific technical specifications concerning your potential solar site which you need to be aware of. One of the first things you want to think about when considering solar is how good of a solar site you have. A solar hot water heating system needs to be installed on a 9' x 9' section of roof that faces South or West. The panels need to get good sun falling on them year a large part of the year from 10am to 4pm. Finally, you should have at least 10 or more years left remaining on your roof.

Economic Reasons to GO Solar

Before we go any further, we should probably address the persistent issue of payback. Simply put, payback isn't the issue, because a simple arithmetic calculation of up-front costs versus reduced monthly expenses just doesn't capture the relevant factors. Just like a car, a kitchen countertop, TV, cell phone, or whatever, the real payback is in having something that does something for you, not recouping the costs. Furthermore, at Solar Energy Solutions, our mission statement is to move the Earth towards and environmentally sustainable future. We hope this is yours as well.

However, unlike any of the aforementioned things, there is a great 30% Federal income tax credit to encourage you to go solar.

Solar Incentives

The Federal Government: There is a 30% federal income tax credit. Assuming you qualify, it is a dollar for dollar tax credit, going against your federal income tax liability.

The Beauty of a Federal Income Tax Credit, is this incentive goes against your Federal income tax liability. In other words, it is money that is no longer yours. You have either paid it to the government already, or are about to. These tax credits are better than any tax deduction. You get this tax credit incentive when you file your income taxes. So, when you file your taxes, your federal income tax liability is reduced by whatever that 30% equals as a reward for Going Solar.

For example, say you have paid the Federal government $7,000 in income taxes throughout the course of the year. Because of deductions and allowances, you get $500 back. Well, if you install a solar hot water heating system for $16,000.00 it would qualify for $4,800.00 federal tax credit. This $4,800 would then be returned to you in the form of a check on top of the $500.00 you are already getting back.

Regardless of how much you love paying your taxes, you probably have a problem with how those tax dollars are being spent. Here is a way you can get your tax dollar right back into your pocket and install a solar system to boot. With the Federal tax credit program it is like a, "Self-Directed Tax". You get to choose where your tax dollars go. In this case, they go on your roof saving you tons of energy and the environment.

Remember, you need to have a tax liability at least as large as the tax credit in order to get the tax credit. It is always best to check with your tax person to confirm what you have paid in taxes and to make sure you will qualify.

I remember when I received a $1,500 tax credit when I installed my solar hot water system in 1992. It was an afternoon in May and I was doing some work when I heard the mailman come to the door. On this particular day he only had one piece of mail and it was from the IRS. With one eye closed and the other half open, I opened the letter wondering what the bad news could be. But then, as I peeked inside, what should my wary eyes see? A check for $1,500 bucks. Yippee! I said as I ran through the house yelling, "Isn't government GREAT?!"