Thursday, August 6, 2015

How you live -- energy tax credits

What type of tax credits are offered by your state and local governments for installation of energy efficient devices (such as solar hot water heaters)? [sic]

free-standing photovoltaic panels, northern Minnesota
free-standing photovoltaic panels, northern Minnesota
Photo by J. Harrington

The phrasing of the question may cause some confusion, at least it confused me, because solar hot water heaters are usually considered renewable energy devices rather than energy efficiency devices. Also, many of the available tax credits relate to the federal income tax. Finally, it doesn't include the economic incentives associated with a currently contentious "solar garden" net metering debate that's occurring in Minnesota. Now that those quibbles are out of the way, let me direct your attention to Minnesota's Clean Energy Resource Team helpful list of Minnesota Residential Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Incentives, which includes links to the other standard resources on the (too frequently) changing tax credits and other incentives for improving our energy efficiency and source portfolio. There are other sources of information on wind and solar tax credits and other energy incentives, perhaps the most inclusive of which is the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency® [DSIRE®], which lists 171 programs for Minnesota, 64 of which match my zip code (many are utility-based programs).

roof-mounted photovoltaic panels, Marine-on-St. Croix
roof-mounted photovoltaic panels, Marine-on-St. Croix
Photo by J. Harrington

Forecast

By Josephine Miles 

All our stones like as much sun as possible.
Along their joints run both solar access and decline
In equal splendor, like a mica chipping
At every beat, being sun responsible.

How much sun then do you think is due them?
Or should say, how much sun do you think they are apt to have?
It has misted at their roots for some days now,
The gray glamour addressing itself to them.

I should think possible that it go on misting likewise
A good way into next year, or time as they have it,
A regular cool season every day for our stones.
Not a streak that low of any sun or longed surprise. 


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