Category Archives: Solar Financing

How do I claim the solar tax credit (ITC)? Filling out form 5695

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How to Claim the Solar Tax Credit EnergySage

If you’re considering solar, you’ve probably heard about the federal solar tax credit, also known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The Federal ITC makes solar more affordable for homeowners and businesses by granting a dollar-for-dollar tax deduction equal to 30% of the total cost of a solar energy system.

What does 30% actually mean for the average solar shopper? According to EnergySage marketplace data, the average national gross cost of installing a solar panel system in 2018 is $18,840. At that price, the solar tax credit can reduce your federal tax burden by $5,652 – and that’s just one of many rebates and incentives that can reduce the cost of solar for homeowners.

There’s plenty of information out there about the value of the residential ITC, but figuring out how to actually claim the credit when it comes time to file your taxes is another story. We’ll walk you through the process step by step from Form 5695 to Form 1040.

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Renew Financial review: everything you need to know about CaliforniaFIRST financing and PACE

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renew financial california first review 2018

Solar loans are the fastest-growing method of financing a solar panel installation your home or business. Across the country, more than half of all new solar installations are done with either a cash purchase or through a solar loan.

Based in sunny California, Renew Financial is one of the leading providers of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing in the country. If you’re comparing quotes for solar installations or other home energy upgrades from different contractors, you may have seen a CaliforniaFIRST or other financing option from Renew Financial.

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Are Massachusetts’ Solar Incentives the Best in the Country?

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Massachusetts solar incentives with energysage

When you think of Massachusetts, you may think of the historical city of Boston, its championship sports teams, or distinctive pronunciation of the letter “R”. Now, it’s time to add a new association to the list because Massachusetts solar incentives and programs are now considered some of the best in the country. In this article, we break down these incentives and explain why solar panels are such a great investment in Massachusetts in 2018.

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Are solar panels really worth it?

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is solar worth it?

Every solar company has a variation of the same sales pitch, “did you know going solar can save thousands of dollars?” They make it sound so easy, but the truth is, whether solar is a smart long-term investment for you depends on a few major factors. So before you buy into the hype, we recommend you use this simple guide to cut through the sales jargon and determine if solar panels are actually worth the money.

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How Much Does a 6,000 Watt (6kW) Solar System Cost in 2018?

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6kW solar system EnergySage

If you’ve been looking into going solar, you’ve probably at some point seen quotes for a 6kW solar system. 6kW solar systems are one of the most popular system sizes in the US because in most places they will produce about the right amount of electricity to meet an average household’s daily electrical needs.

Solar leases & PPAs have made going solar accessible for virtually anyone with a roof, but what if you’re thinking about purchasing a system? Since you’ll probably be spending your own money, you’ll want to be extra selective about the installer who does the job and the components that are used.

This article investigates these questions: 1) How much does a 6kW solar system cost, 2) how much electricity will a 6kW system produce, and 3) how do you know you’re getting the best deal? Continue reading

Where Are Solar Panels Made and Should You Care?

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American-made vs imported solar panels with energysage

One of the things you may have questions about as you shop around for a solar system is where the solar panels are manufactured. This article will help you determine whether a panel’s country of manufacture should be a key consideration for you.

*Note: If you are looking for information on the 30% tariff levied on solar panels by the Trump Administration, read our complete analysis here.


Does it matter where solar panel companies are based and where they make the panels?

When it comes to quality, the mention of any country’s name will evoke an association; each nation has its own brand image, which may or may not be justified. You as a smart solar shopper, however, will want to look at the facts in order to make a more well-informed decision. Our recommendation is to judge each panel by its own merits. (A good place to start is EnergySage’s Solar Buyer’s Guide.) Continue reading

“Free solar panels”: Are they really free?

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If you’ve been shopping around for a solar panel system, you’ve probably heard at least one company advertise ‘free solar panels’ – that they will install a solar system on your roof for free. But, much as with anything, remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch (or a free solar panel).

Free solar panels pure energies

Examples of companies advertising ‘free solar panels’

Decoding the sales pitch: The term ‘free solar panels’ is sometimes used to advertise solar lease or solar power purchase agreements (PPAs).

Under both types of arrangements, a company will put solar panels on your roof for no money up-front, but will charge you for the electricity that they produce.

Most offers will save you money but not all of them, so make sure you’ve thoroughly compared all your options. Also consider buying the solar panels or financing them with a zero-down solar loan.

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Solar for nonprofit organizations: benefits, financing, and how to get started

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solar for nonprofits

The number of properties with rooftop solar panels is increasing day by day, and it isn’t just homeowners who are installing solar panels to offset their own electricity bill. Businesses as small as your local general store and as large as Google have installed solar on-site to decrease overhead costs and promote corporate social responsibility. Now, nonprofit organizations are starting to explore their solar options as well.

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